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Showing posts from May, 2005

World No Tobacco Day....

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Today, May 31, is World No Tobacco Day. On this day we should strive to increase awareness on the negative effects of tobacco use on public health and to curb the tide of nicotine addiction which has claimed the lives of so many people through tobacco-related diseases.

Smoking kills. Make no mistake about it.

It has been more than two weeks since I smoked my last cigarette. This time, I intend to quit for good. Not only for my own sake, but also for the sake of my child and the people around me who are inadvertent victims of second-hand smoke. With any luck, more people would be giving it up in the future.

Government to emphasize outsourcing for IT needs....

As of late, it would seem that it is more cost-effective for the government to rely on private companies for systems and website development rather than develop them in-house or rely on the assistance of the National Computer Center (NCC). This is an implicit admission on the government's part that IT is apparently not one of its core competencies, and that it is an expertise best left to the private sector.

The NCC, in fact, will be phasing out over a period of two to three years its division tasked with the provision of software programming and website development for all government agencies.

I guess it is inevitable that this trend will soon be spreading to other government agencies as well. Programmers and web developers currently employed by the government would probably have to choose between transferring to the private sector or being retrained as project managers.

Again, another possible sign of things to come.

I can relate, because I used to work in our office's IT depart…

My Japanese Name....

My japanese name is 秋本 Akimoto (autumn book) 一真 Kazuma (one reality).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Lunes na naman!!!

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*Sigh*....

Fooling around....

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Four Wives....

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply,he hardly took notice of her!

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, "I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone."

Thus, he asked…

Solo Parenthood....

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Nowadays, it isn't enough just to be a solo parent. You actually have to have an ID now to prove it. :-) After a somewhat lengthy wait, I finally got mine:
Solo Parent ID
Don't mind my picture, I was under a lot of stress at the time. :-) The issuance of a Solo Parent ID is in line with the provisions of R.A. 8972 also known as the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000. Among other things, it entitles a solo parent to an additional seven days of leave, known as parental leave. If you're a single parent and interested in the benefits and requirements for solo parents, visit this page on the DSWD web site. A word of warning though. The ID is kinda huge :-)

Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat

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The other week Ning gave me a reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh's Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat. She used to hang it on the wall by her desk, and later on she decided to take it down and set it aside. She felt like getting rid of it, finding it to be a tad "too creepy" for her tastes. Never being one to turn down a free work of art, I was more than happy to take it off her hands. I guess I have this thing about "creepy" works of art.

This particular self-portrait was made in 1887, or three years before Van Gogh's death. It clearly shows his dwindling health at the time, and the sullen gaze from eyes of different colors begs us for help at the same time pushes us away. The eyes also project the illusion of following you, no matter what angle you view the painting from. No wonder Ning found it creepy.

The painting itself is rendered in an impressionist style, with creative use of color to create vivid contrasts. The paint is also applied in changing direction…

Male Pregnancy?

Can a human male become pregnant? Well, according to POP! The First Human Male Pregnancy - Mr. Lee Mingwei, not only is it possible, but they actually did it.

The site may appear authentic, but in reality it isn't. It's really an elaborate hoax being presented as some sort of weird multi-disciplinary art form conceived by artists Virgil Wong and Lee Mingwei. As far as being attention-grabbing, controversial and thought provoking, I suppose it succeeded.

Is it even art? Check out the site and tell me what you think.

And some unsolicited advice: Don't believe everything you see on the internet. :-)

Quaere Verum.

Radical Ideas (Part V)....

Radical Ideas for the Philippines (A continuing series)

Part I of this series.
Part II of this series.
Part III of this series.
Part IV of this series.

Yeah, I know its been a while since I posted anything in this series, but I managed to come across one of my old drafts, and decided that its about time that I come up with a fresh installment. For a refresher on this series, on what its all about, just check out the links above, particularly the introduction included in Part I. :-) Now, on to my latest radical idea...

V. Get Rid of the Jeepneys

The ubiquitous jeepney has been the staple form of public transportation for the masses in the Philippines for the past sixty years or so. At the end of World War II, enterprising Filipinos managed to salvage surplus American jeep engines and chassis and using their ingenuity, ended up creating an improvised form of transportation characterized by being festooned with garish decorations and ornaments.

After six decades, hardly anything has changed, exc…

On Vehicle Theft....

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A couple of days ago, a colleague of mine went out of her parent's house in Cavite only to discover that her late model van was no longer where she left it the night before. After checking with towing companies and impounds to see if it had been towed, and after reporting the incident to the police, her worst fears were confirmed. She was one of the latest victims of vehicle theft in the country.

Vehicle theft, more often referred to as "carnapping" here, is one of the most prevalent organized crimes in the Philippines, alongside drug trafficking, kidnapping for ransom, and robbery/hold up. Two years ago, on average, three cars a day are stolen somewhere in the Philippines, a 25% decrease from the previous year. Now, with the economy bottoming out on us, it seems like the incidence of vehicle theft is again on the rise.

Most of these car thefts take place in Metro Manila, in parking lots, residential areas and middle class subdivisions. They usually occur between 2 and 4 i…

One word....

Got a forwarded text message this morning from an officemate of mine. This is what it said: Describe me in 1word. Just one! Send it to me then send this msg to 10friends n see how many wonderful n strange things people think about you! Text back. It's fun!
Well, I had nothing better to do, so I replied, then forwarded the message myself to my other friends. These were the replies I got, in the order they replied in: Monik sent in "funny."Annie sent in "kulit."Argie sent in "surreal."Ohmyluv sent in "rare." (?)Xtnag sent in "big brother." (Di ba two words yun?)Ning sent in "genius" then followed it up with "sweet" (Two words din yun a!)Marinet sent in "conservative."May sent in "weird" then followed it up with "smart." (Pero Globe ako e...)Shine sent in "funny" then "intelligent."Imelda sent in "intense." (Bakit kaya?) and lastly...Nadine sent in "nutc…

Of things to come?

It seems that incoming Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III has his work cut out for him. Even though he hasn't assumed his new post yet, he has already been the subject of criticism regarding his views on contraception. Check out Rina Jimenez-David's column At Large in the May 24 edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. You can also read the online version of the column here and see for yourself.

Sign of things to come? Who knows? All we can do is wait and see.

Quaere Verum.

Photo mosaic....

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A colleague of mine, Philhealth.tk, was nice and ingenious enough to create a mosaic of my South Park character (see previous post here) using the pictures posted on my blog. Here's the mosaic:
Click on the picture for a larger view.
Thanks pre, I appreciate it. :-)

Episode II spin off....

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With all the hype regarding Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, as well as the controversy caused by the publication of photos of Saddam Hussein in captivity (see CNN report here) by a London tabloid, I couldn't resist the urge to post this picture. Like hitting two birds with one stone. :-)
Click on the picture for a larger view.

The week that was....

Normally I post something about my past week on a Friday or Saturday, but somehow, due to my attention being taken up by other posts, time constraints, as well as other matters, it was only now that I found the time to tell you about the week that was.

Not that my past week was that exciting, far from it actually. Just a bunch of small stuff that I feel like sharing with you people. Here goes...

On work...

Most of last week, and probably this week as well, was spent on speculating who the next President and CEO of our office would be. Our current President and CEO has recently been appointed to another position, and at present there is still no official announcement on who will replace him (see previous post here). It is during times like these that office gossip and rumor-mongering are at an all time high. You can cut the tension with a knife. One never really knows what would happen next in the face of a management change.

On love...

Urmm...next topic please? Actually, nothing to report.…

Kids and video games....

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If you've been reading my posts for some time now, you would have guessed that I'm a gamer. Is that something to be ashamed of? I don't think so. It's just another hobby for me, a diversion, like a lot of other things, like this blog for example. Me, a 32 year old grown man...and I still play video games. While there are those who keep dissin' video games for being a waste of time, addictive, promotive of violence and potentially harmful to kids, I am certainly not one of them...to a point of course, which I will explain further as we go along.

My eight year old kid likes to play video games as well. In fact, I believe that video games can have a positive effect on children, as long as there are limits.

It is well established that video games improve hand-eye coordination. They are also known to improve problem-solving skills, and teaches them careful risk-taking. It helps social skills as well (particularly during multi-player gaming sessions that the players have t…

Revolution

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The Nintendo Revolution. Not wanting to be left out of the next-gen craze, Nintendo, last May 17 at E3, also announced its upcoming game console, the Nintendo Revolution. The announcement was hot on the heels of the introduction of the MicrosoftXbox 360 (see previous post on the Xbox 360) and the Sony PlayStation 3 (see previous post on the PS3). With Nintendo's announcement, the cast is complete, and the stage is set for the next round of console wars scheduled to erupt this holiday season to early next year.

While information on the console's technical specifications were particularly scarce, Nintendo did give some details. This is from Nintendo's official press release:

The system boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi access. A worldwide network of Nintendo players can gather to compete in a comfortable, inviting environment. Revolution’s technological heart, a processing chip developed with IBM and code-n…

General Colin Powell's Rules

It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.Get mad, then get over it.Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.It can be done!Be careful what you choose. You may get it.Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.Check small things.Share credit.Remain calm. Be kind.Have a vision. Be demanding.Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Lex Talionis - On enforcing the death penalty

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There are few issues which are as passionately debated, as sensitive, as controversial, and as emotional as the issue of capital punishment here in the Philippines. The Death Penalty. The State taking the life of a convict in retribution for the criminal acts that he or she has committed. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Lex Talionis - The law of retaliation.

Four days ago, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo granted a 90-day stay of execution to 21 convicts on death row. While I may have my own opinions regarding the efficacy or necessity of the death penalty, and in fact I may even have my own biases (this is a blog, and as a blogger I am entitled to some degree of subjectivity, as long as I don't purport it to be anything else than my own opinion), this incident has given me nothing but serious doubts about President Arroyo's conviction and political will, specifically with regard to the peace and order situation and generally with regard to her role as head …

Treasure in Each Day

Sent to me by Eric via email. Thought I'd share it with you people.

Treasure in Each Day

Some days you'll become weary. When that happens, rest for a while, but not too long, and then get back on track with a renewed sense of purpose.

Some days you'll become satisfied with what you've accomplished. Be careful not to let that stop you. Remember to continue building on what you've already created. After all, the greatest achievement means very little if it is not put to use.

Some days the turn of life's events will bring you sadness. When those days come, take comfort in knowing that your sadness is possible only because you care so very much.

Some days will be frustrating and filled with disappointment. Take the opportunity to learn from those days, and know that you're making progress even if it doesn't seem so at the moment.

Some days will be truly joyful. Dive deeply into those days and let yourself experience them fully so that their positive value will al…

Revenge of the Sith....

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Oh go ahead and mock me. I was bound to post something about this movie sooner or later, and here it is.

The circle is now complete. After 28 years, the space opera depicting the eternal struggle of good versus evil, and the ultimate triumph of light over dark, finally comes full circle. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith not only successfully brings to a conclusion the prequel trilogy, it also manages to fill in most of the plot holes and complete the transition of the story to the original trilogy. It answers the questions in viewers' minds after the end of Attack of the Clones: How did Anakin Skywalker become Darth Vader? What happened to Padmé? How did the Emperor rise to power? How did the Galactic Republic become the Galactic Empire? What happened to Anakin and Padmé's children? What happened to all the Jedi? It answers all of these questions, and more.

Revenge of the Sith is without a doubt the best episode in the prequel trilogy. It portrays with a high degree of drama, emot…

PlayStation 3

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Sony's PlayStation 3. Nipping at the heels of Microsoft who just unveiled it's formidable Xbox 360 gaming console last May 12 (read my previous post here), Sony upped the ante with its May 16 press conference at E3, introducing its next-gen console, the PlayStation 3.

The PlayStation 3 flaunts its much hyped "Cell" processor, which consists of a 3.2 GHz 64-bit IBM PowerPC core and eight 32-bit "synergistic processor elements" or "SPEs." It also has 256 MB of XDR RAM running at 3.2 GHz for its main memory, and 256 MB of GDDR3 VRAM for its NVIDIA RSX chip running at 550 MHz. The previous generation PlayStation 2, if you can still remember, utilizes a proprietary "Graphics Synthesizer" graphics processor, while the original Xbox uses a custom NVIDIA NV2X GPU. The new Xbox 360, uses a graphics processor from ATI.

Optical storage comes in the form of a Blu-ray BD-ROM drive, and while it can accept a 2.5" hard disk drive with a capacity of u…

One weird day....

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Last time I looked, Friday the 13th was five days ago, yet yesterday was just one of those weird days wherein you encounter one snafu and then another. While the early part of the day was pretty uneventful, things started getting all twilight zone during lunch.

I was finishing my halo-halo over at Iceberg's at Metrowalk, along with Jay, May and Ning. My cellphone suddenly rings, and I hear this frantic female voice asking me where I was, and that she needed my help, since she had a flat tire. Trouble was, her number wasn't listed on my phone contacts, and I didn't have the presence of mind to ask her who she was. For all I know, it could have been a wrong number, and I didn't even know this woman. Unable to bring myself to ask her who she was, I gingerly tapped the red button on my phone, abruptly ending the call. This bought me some time while I gathered my thoughts, much to the amusement of my companions, and probably to the consternation of the caller. The phone rang…

Summer Sunshine....

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The sun rises over Commonwealth Avenue.

Strength vs. Courage

It takes strength to be firm
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer.
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pains.
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.


- Author Unknown - from Aiken Drum

To make the world a better place....

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Xbox 360

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Microsoft's new Xbox 360. Here's some news for all you console gamers out there. Last May 12, Microsoft unveiled on MTV the successor to its popular Xbox console: the Xbox 360.

It sports an IBM PowerPC-based CPU with three symmetrical cores running at 3.2GHz, 512 MB of GDDR3 RAM, a customized ATI graphics processor running at 500 MHz with 10 MB of embedded DRAM, a 20 GB detachable and upgradeable hard drive, and a 12x dual layer DVD-ROM drive which can read virtually any currently existing DVD format there is out there.

There's no word yet, whether the Xbox 360 is backward compatible with existing Xbox games. You can view the official fact sheet which contains the full technical specifications as well as details on its improved sound capabilities and new wireless controllers here.

With Microsoft first out of the gate with the release of a next-generation console, and with the upcoming release as well of the much anticipated and much hyped PlayStation 3, what will happen in the…

Never apologize....

Some food for thought. Forwarded to me through email some time ago. I disagree with one though, if it refers to what I think it refers. :-)

1.Never apologize for pursuing what makes you happy. Even if you need to quit your job, transfer schools, or move across country, always do what you really want.

2. Never apologize for using proper English. Keeping it real doesn't mean speaking Ebonics.

3. Never apologize for giving your best in a relationship that just didn't work out.

4. Never apologize for being successful. Only haters want to keep you at their level.

5. Never apologize for crying. Wear waterproof mascara and express yourself.

6. Never apologize for ten pounds you need to lose. People who truly care about you will accept you as you are.

7. Never apologize for being frugal. Just because you save your money instead of blowing it on the latest fashion emergency doesn't mean you're cheap.

8. Don't apologize for being a single mom. Babies are a blessing.

9. Never apologiz…

Anniversary pictures....

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When my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last May 7, someone came up with the idea of having a photo shoot involving the entire family. Well, a studio was set up in my father's building and quite a number of shots were taken of the entire family, including those of my brothers and sisters. Here are some family portraits:
My parents and my brothers and sisters.


Another portrait of my family.


A shot with my parents' grandsons and granddaughters.


A shot of me and my son.

Sunday morning....

I'm getting tired of this weather. It's just too dang hot lately. Right now it's a bit cooler, only 33°C, but then again, it's still early in the day. Where I'm at, temperatures peak at around 37° to 38°C. The humidity doesn't seem to help either. Even with twelve fans my PC (with an Athlon XP 2400+ CPU) registers a pretty scalding 54°C even when idling. Under normal circumstances it should idle at around 47°C. It's been too hot to do anything lately. Oh well, it won't be long now before summer ends.

Came across a number of interesting and well written blogs lately. I don't know about you, but I'm a stiff when it comes to grammar. Not that I have perfect grammar myself, since I obviously don't, but somehow it's always easier to read blogs that don't have glaring grammatical errors. Unfortunately proficiency in speaking and writing in English in the Philippines seems to be declining as of late. Passable grammar is something we usually …

Paid in Full

Another nice story making the rounds through email. It seems it would have been more appropriate had I posted it last Mother's day, but I guess better late than never. For all mothers out there.

My little boy came into the kitchen this evening while I was fixing supper and he handed me a piece of paper he'd been writing on.

So, after wiping my hands on my apron, I read it, and this is what it said:

For mowing the grass, $5.
For making my own bed this week, $1.
For going to the store $.50.
For playing with baby brother while you went shopping, $.25
For taking out the trash, $1.
For getting a good report card, $5.
For raking the yard, $2.

I looked at him standing there expectantly, and a thousand memories flashed through my mind.So, I picked up the paper, and turning it over, this is what I wrote:

For the nine months I carried you, growing inside me: No Charge.
For the nights I sat up with you, doctored you prayed for you...No Charge.
For the time and the tears, and the cost through the year…

Network problems....

While I don't really believe that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, in one aspect it was for me yesterday. I had absolutely no broadband internet service for the entire day, it seems my DSL connection was down for some reason. While this morning it seems to be working fine again, I do have some complaints about PLDT myDSL's technical support:

1. Calling their customer service number (172-375) is pretty hellish, as it puts you on hold for as long half an hour. Of course, there are no guarantees that someone would answer. It was on my fifth try, I think, before I got to talk with someone. Good thing I have a speaker phone, I don't think I would have the patience to hold a handset to my head for that long;

2. The customer service representative, a lady, while actually being nice enough, was of very little help. She did confirm that service was down in my area (like I didn't know) but she had absolutely no idea when the service would resume. Shouldn't their technical t…

The Secrets of Fatima....

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The Secrets of Fatima are said to be prophecies given by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young visionaries on six separate occasions sometime between May and October 1917. It was 88 years ago to the day, on May 13, 1917, when the apparition of the Madonna first appeared to the three children. While typically skeptical about such visions, the Vatican has authenticated the children's stories.

Two of the visionaries, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, both died of influenza before reaching the age of 11.

The last surviving visionary, Lucia, became a nun and believing herself to be dying, wrote down the secrets in 1944. These were sent to Rome where they were locked away in the Vatican archives.

While the first two secrets are relatively well known, the third was kept under extreme secrecy until May 2000.

In Sister Lucia's words, here are the three secrets of Fatima: ... This will entail my speaking about the secret, and thus answering the first question.

What is the secret? It seems to me t…

A little insanity....

I heard someone say once that working in government requires a little bit of insanity. That is oh so correct. I have been in government service for more than nine years now, and it just feels that I lost more than a couple of I.Q. points along the way. If anyone ever ran a private company the way a government agency is run, that company will run itself to the ground in no time flat. Somehow, common sense, sentido komun, appears to be a very scarce resource.

Our office's President and CEO has just been appointed to another post. No news yet on who gets to assume the position he vacated, though a number of names of possible replacements have already been floated around by the rumor mill. In my nine years of working in this organization, I've served under three different heads, all with varying management styles. Whenever there's a change in leadership, there's always the shakeup that inevitably follows. Sometimes the changes do good, and sometimes they even make the situa…

God Exists

Something to reflect on...

A man went to a barber shop to have his hair and his beard cut as always. He started to have a good conversation with the barber who attended him. They talked about so many things and various subjects. Suddenly, they touched the subject of God. The barber said :

"Look man, I don't believe that God exists as you say so."

"Why do you say that?" Asked the client.

"Well, it's so easy, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God does not exist. Oh, tell me, if God existed, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be no suffering nor pain. I can't think of a God who permits all of these things."

The client stopped for a moment thinking but he didn't want to respond so as to prevent an argument.

The barber finished his job and the client went out of the shop. Just after he left the barber shop he saw a man in the street with a long hair and beard (it s…

John Paul the Great....

There is currently an online petition being spearheaded by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). The petition declares that Pope John Paul II, through public acclamation, should be known as John Paul the Great.

The petition, once one million signatures have been collected, will be given to the Vatican, the Vatican press corps, and to the press around the world. View the petition by clicking on this link: http://www.c-fam.org/cgi-bin/jpthegreat.pl.

If you agree with the provisions, then by all means please sign the petition. I did. I was number 9,383. :-)

Happy Birthday!

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Birthday greetings to Sunshine, who's celebrating her birthday on May 11, and May, on May 14. Happy birthday people!

The Eye of God....

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This picture has already been making the rounds through email and has been featured on several other websites and blogs, but after I received this yesterday, I guess I just couldn't resist posting it myself.

This is the original caption of the email it came in: This photo is a very rare one, taken by NASA.
This kind of event occurs once in 3000 years.
This photo has done miracles in many lives.
Make a wish... you have looked at the eye of God.
This is a picture NASA took with the Hubble telescope.
Called "The Eye of God".
Too awesome to delete. It is worth sharing.
I made a quick search for information about this photo on Google, and it directed me to this brief article on About.com: Comments: This is indeed an authentic photograph — or rather, composite of photos — taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. It was featured on NASA's Website as an Astronomy Picture of the Day in May 2003 and thereafter posted on a number o…

Condolences....

My condolences to Gitch, a friend and colleague, whose mother passed away last night.

I won! Not!

As I was uploading some photos to Photobucket a few minutes ago, the site suddenly displayed a message congratulating me for being Photobucket's 1,000,000th visitor. Apparently I was supposed to have won a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas for four people, assuming I call them within 180 seconds. :-) Unfortunately the Philippines was not in the drop down list of countries where the contest was valid. :-( Dang. And I always wanted to go to the Bahamas...:-)

Philippine Unquotables....

Got this collection of "unquotables" from Michael Brown's blog. Read them and weep...:-)

"The more the manyer!"

"It's a no-win-win situation!"

"We'll burn that bridge when we get there!"

"Anulled and void!"

"C'mon, let's join us!"

"If worse comes to shove!"

"Are you joking my leg?!"

"It's not my problem anymore, it's your problem anymore!"

"What are friends are for?!"

"You can never can tell!"

"forget it about it!"

"Give him the benefit of the daw!"

"It's a blessing in the sky!"

"He's barking at the wrong dog!"

"He wants to have his cake and bake it too!"

"First and for all!"

"Now and there!"

"I'm only human nature!"

"The sky's the langit!"

"So far, so good, so far!"

"The feeling is actual!"

"I ran into some errands!"…

Victory in Europe Day....

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. Exactly 50 years ago, on May 8, 1945, the unconditional surrender of all remaining German forces took effect, via a document signed a day earlier at General Dwight Eisenhower's headquarters in Reims.

The surrender of Germany signaled the end of six years of fighting and suffering in Europe. Total number of losses to all European nations is estimated to be as high as 40 million. Of Poland's 6 million dead, almost half, or 2.9 million lives lost, are Jews, victims of Hitler's Final Solution.

Let us not forget the courage of the Allied forces, the sacrifices made, the sufferings endured, and the lives lost in the pursuit of peace and freedom in the most extensive armed conflict in history.

Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault

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Here's my brief review of a game which has seemingly taken up a lot of my time lately: Electronic Arts' Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault.

This has got to be the best World War II FPS that I ever played. That's no small feat, as all of the other World War II shooters I've played before are all pretty good games as well (Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Call of Duty). Mission goals are somewhat similar in scope (based on real World War II events, in this case, from Marine boot camp, to Pearl Harbor, to various Pacific islands on the way to Japan) but gameplay is a bit different, and a whole lot more realistic than in previous games. It's squad based, and you can issue basic commands to your squad (such as go forward, go back, gather up, fire). Your squadmates also happen to be intelligent enough that you don't have to micromanage them. As with real soldiers, they know what to do. Unlike other shooters were you mainly recover health points by picking up medical suppl…

Happy Mother's Day!

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For all the mothers out there, especially my own, my son's mom, my sisters, and all my friends who happen to be moms (and there are a lot, but you people know who you are)...

Happy Mother's Day!

Tagged again!

Ok, what I'm supposed to do is pick 5 of the sentences below, complete them, and then choose 3 people, who will in turn also have to complete 5 of the sentences below, choose 3 to annoy further, and so on, and so forth. Are you ready? So let's get it on!

If I could be a scientist...
If I could be a farmer...
If I could be a musician...
If I could be a doctor...
If I could be a painter...
If I could be a gardener...
If I could be a missionary...
If I could be a chef...
If I could be an architect...
If I could be a linguist...
If I could be a psychologist...
If I could be a librarian...
If I could be an athlete...
If I could be a lawyer...
If I could be an inn-keeper...
If I could be a professor...
If I could be a writer...
If I could be a llama-rider...
If I could be a bonnie pirate...
If I could be an astronaut...
If I could be a world famous blogger...
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...
If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

If I were a musician...

I'…

Golden Anniversary....

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Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to my parents!

50 years sure is a long time. I wish I had a relationship that would last even half as long. :-)

For those who seek it....

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Some points to ponder....

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

No one can go back and make a brand new start.

Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

Disappointments are like road bumps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards.

Don't stay on the bumps too long. Move on!

When you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight and be happy, because God has thought of something better to give you.

When something happens to you, good or bad, consider what it means.

There's a purpose to life's events, to teach you how to laugh more or not to cry too hard.

You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, the rest is up to the person to real…

Hats - A business opportunity?

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I went to three malls yesterday looking for a hat I could wear outdoors, considering how hot and sunny it has been lately. I started out at SM Megamall, then to Shangri-La Plaza, finally to The Podium. I was looking for something like a bucket hat, or a golf cap, something in black. Since my day to day attire is more or less casual, consisting of collared shirts, slacks, and leather shoes, I wanted a hat which was a tad more formal than a baseball cap. (Note: It's a ball cap, not a bull cap. I'm tired of hearing people refer to it as a "bull cap" and even insist on it as the correct term.)

Suffice to say that I didn't find what I was looking for. If I found something close to what I wanted, it was either in the wrong color, or in the wrong size. In all three malls. That got me thinking. Here in the Philippines, we have basically two seasons, a dry and wet season. Both seasons are appropriate to wearing hats, and yet, aside from baseball caps which you can get virt…

Now I get it....

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Well...better late than never. :-)

God answers prayer

God answers prayer

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

Visualizing the family needs, she said: 'Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can."

John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?

Louise replied, "Yes sir."

"O.K." he said, "put your groc…