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Showing posts from September, 2005

The fishy smell of E.O. 464....

The other day, Malacañang issued Executive Order No. 464 (download a PDF file of the Executive Order here), which, in effect, prohibits cabinet members, police and military generals, senior national security officials, and "such other officers as may be determined by the President" from testifying before hearings held in aid of legislation in Congress or the Senate.

Smells fishy, if you ask me.

As if it wasn't enough that the rights of citizens to peaceable assembly had been curtailed by the "Calibrated, Preemptive Response" (CPR) initiative launched by the Office of the President in order to put in check street protests, now we have what amounts to be a gag order which seriously compromises the authority of the legislative branch from conducting inquiries in aid of legislation.

It all started from that dang Gloriagate scandal which first reared its ugly head more than three months ago. This controversy had its climax only a few weeks ago when in a dramatic turn o…

Kissing Purity Test

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Your Kissing Purity Score: 46% Pure
You're not one to kiss and tell...

But word is, you kiss pretty well.Kissing Purity Test

Midweek ramblings....

I actually used up my stock of pre-written posts, so now I have to start writing again. :-) I used to keep at least a week's worth of posts in my drafts section, so I can still regularly post even if I'm busy with other things. As it turned out, things became a bit more hectic than usual, so aside from a few quiz results, I'm out of reserve posts.

Actually, things are still a bit on the busy side, but I can't help but post even a wee update just to keep things fresh. One of the tenets of blogging is that you have to post regularly. It doesn't have to be everyday, as long as you do it at regular intervals. As you build up a reader base, they start expecting updates of your blog at the pace in which you regularly post. In my case, I kinda ended up posting an update everyday, so I might as well live up to that trend. Here are a few updates on my "so-called life" (if you can call it that):

Things have been busier than usual lately, and as a result I haven't…

What's Your Power Color?

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Your Power Color Is Gold
At Your Highest:

You are engrossed in passions that mentally stimulate you.

At Your Lowest:

You seek thrills and neglect what's important in your life.

In Love:

You see dating as adventure and approach it with an open attitude.

How You're Attractive:

You passion for life makes others passionate about you.

Your Eternal Question:

"Am I Having Fun?"What's Your Power Color?

Peeved....

"I love mankind; it's people I can't stand."

- Linus Van Pelt


I can so relate.

What type of evil being are you inside?

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Werewolf - Evil or Not?


What type of evil being are you inside?
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What swear word are you?

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your asshole.


What swear word are you?
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Can you read this?

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Can you read this? :-)

Batteries not included - behind the Seiko Kinetic

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I own two Seiko Kinetic watches, one of them about five years old, the other about seven. They have been reliable for the most part, but in an unusual turn of events, they have both been brought in for service twice in the last twelve months.

Kinetic watches are different from other watches in the sense that they are powered by the wearer's natural wrist movements instead of depending on a compressed mainspring (as with automatic/self-winding watches) or a battery (as with conventional quartz watches). The Kinetic mechanism taps into these motions, converting them into electrical energy by means of a small generator, and storing this energy into a set of four micro-capacitors (referred to by Seiko as an Electrical Storage Unit or ESU) which powers the movement of the watch. Seiko first marketed this technology in 1988, and started using the Kinetic name in 1992.
How the Seiko Kinetic works. This approach combines the accuracy of quartz movements (+/- 15 seconds a month) with the capa…

How Do You Live Your Life?

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How You Life Your Life
You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.
You tend to avoid confrontation and stay away from sticky situations.
You prefer a variety of friends and tend to change friends quickly.
You tend to dream big, but you worry that your dreams aren't attainable.How Do You Live Your Life?

Mini Poll Results....

The poll question for the past several weeks was:

Do you agree that we need to change our form of government to a Parliamentary-Federal form?

Results:

Yes - 25%
No - 67%
Don't know - 0%
Don't care - 8%

It seems that the charter change idea is a hard sell to Filipinos at this time. Only a quarter of those who participated in the poll are in favor of it, while more than two-thirds are against it. These results are more or less in sync with the results of other surveys which generally indicate a resistance to changing our system of government. Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may indeed have a tough time convincing people of the need to change our Constitution.

While I do agree with that the Constitution is in dire need of revisions in order to be more responsive to the needs of the people (see previous post here), it is clear that now may not be the most appropriate of times. Let us see what happens next.

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Postscript:

For the moment I'll be shutting down the M…

Out of this world....

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Blogging used to be a mere earthly pursuit. Now, you can actually sign up to have your blog and its feed transmitted by a powerful transmission dish into deep space.

As if isn't enough that humans read my daily ramblings, now aliens can do the same as well.

Cool. :-)

Sign up by logging on at http://www.bloginspace.com.

To boldly blog where no one has blogged before.

Postscript:

This is my 500th post. :-)

Beware of new cars....

The IBM CGA standard....

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Obsoletus Instrumentum - The IBM Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) Standard

Nowadays, high resolution color graphics are standard on any computer. Even the cheapest, bargain basement models have high resolution color graphics capabilities built in. We owe this trend to our complete migration from text-based interfaces to graphical user interfaces (GUIs) which have made the computer significantly easier to use than before.

Yet, more than 20 years ago, at the start of the PC revolution, high resolution color graphics and GUIs for the masses were more the stuff of science fiction than reality.

In 1981, alongside the original PC, IBM introduced the Color Graphics Adapter (CGA), the granddaddy of all color graphics standards for the PC and its compatibles.

It was one of two graphics adapters/standards introduced by IBM. The other one is the Monochrome Display Adapter (MDA), which, as its name suggests, was capable of only generating single color text and rudimentary, character based graphics. Howev…

Happy Birthday!

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Happy birthday to Argie, Ken and Mang Gerry, who are all celebrating their birthdays today.

Belated greetings to Hazel, who celebrated her birthday yesterday.

Lastly, advance happy birthday to our boss VSV, who's celebrating his birthday tomorrow.

Happy birthday people!

Seeing that justice is served....

For the past number of weeks, I have been sitting as a member in a committee the sole purpose of which is to determine the guilt or innocence of certain fellow employees who have been charged administratively because of alleged improprieties. It is a daunting task to say the least.

It is not an easy thing to come up with decisions that could have life-long consequences for colleagues, who like myself, toil day in and day out in the same office I do, trying to earn a living. What makes it more difficult is the fact that I happen to know a number of them personally. And yet, you can't just ignore the possibility that maybe they are indeed guilty of committing certain improper acts, and as such, should be meted the appropriate penalties as prescribed by law.

Well, at least it hasn't come to that. Not yet, anyway.

But eventually, after hearing all the testimonies, after seeing all the evidence, the committee of which I am a part of would have to come up with a decision. Somehow, I&…

What Year Were You Born Under?

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You Were Actually Born Under:You are quick witted, charming, and bring luck to all who know you.
A bit greedy, you tend to go after what you want - with success.
Clever, you seek out knowledge... and eventually use what you know to your advantage.
You are very loyal, and you treat your real friends like they are family.

You are most compatible with a Dragon or Monkey.You Should Have Been Born Under:
You are quick witted, charming, and bring luck to all who know you.
A bit greedy, you tend to go after what you want - with success.
Clever, you seek out knowledge... and eventually use what you know to your advantage.
You are very loyal, and you treat your real friends like they are family.

You are most compatible with a Dragon or Monkey.
What Year Were You Born Under?

Ruminations of a 33 year old....

Today I'm 33 years old. *sigh* I guess there's no running away from Father Time. :-) Its true what they say about growing old...you may pile on the years, but somehow you always feel you're still the same person you've always been...perhaps a bit older and wiser...and maybe a bit worse for wear.

I thank God for my health, my family especially my son, my friends, my career, and all the blessings I have received. I guess I'm still more fortunate than most, and for that I'm very grateful. It's been a bumpy ride at times, and while I've received my share of punches, I'm still here, slugging it out in this journey we call life. :-)

The past year I've picked up a few lessons and reiterations of things that I've known before here and there, and thanks to this blogging thing I've even written about some of them during the past several months. If I may, I'd like to share some of them with you:

On God:Trust in God, not in man. God will never let …

What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Your Birthdate: September 22While sometimes employing unorthodox approaches, you are capable of handling large scale undertakings.

You assume great responsibility and work long and hard toward completion.

Often, especially in the early part of life, there is rigidity or stubbornness, and a tendency to repress feelings.

Idealistic, you work for the greater good with a good deal of inner strength and charisma.

An extremely capable organizer, but likely to paint with broad strokes rather than detail.

You are very aware and intuitive.

You are subject to a good deal of nervous tension.


What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

Never again....

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Thirty-three years ago to the day, President Ferdinand Marcos issued the infamous Proclamation No. 1081, declaring the entire Philippines under a state of martial law. It is with this issuance that democracy and freedom met its demise, ushering in what is perhaps the darkest chapter of Philippine history.

Never again...

Proclamation 1081 and Martial Law

On September 21, 1972, Marcos issued Proclamation 1081, declaring martial law over the entire country. Under the president's command, the military arrested opposition figures, including Benigno Aquino, journalists, student and labor activists, and criminal elements. A total of about 30,000 detainees were kept at military compounds run by the army and the Philippine Constabulary. Weapons were confiscated, and "private armies" connected with prominent politicians and other figures were broken up. Newspapers were shut down, and the mass media were brought under tight control. With the stroke of a pen, Marcos closed the Philippi…

Burgers and fries (Part 3)....

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(Third of three parts.)

In all the fuss about the fast food war going on here in the Philippines between Jollibee and McDonald's, I failed to mention another fast food chain which has been putting up a good fight against the two giants, and is currently settled comfortably in third place. I'm talking about Wendy's.

The first Wendy's restaurant in the Philippines opened in December of 1983, in the midst of the aftermath of the assassination of former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, which occurred three months earlier. It was a tumultuous time, with popular discontent and political bickerings taking its toll on the Marcos administration (or as some would say, dictatorship) and the economy as a whole. This climaxed with the historical People Power Revolution three years later (see previous post here), which saw the ouster of the Marcoses and installation of Ninoy's widow, Corazon "Cory" Aquino as the new President of the Republic. Of course, that'…

How Machiavellian Are You?

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You Are Machiavelli's Spawn
You're going to get what you want, and no one's going stand in your way.
(Even if it's just knocking out your roomie to get the last ice cream sandwich!)
People who slow you down, simply need to be taken out - by any means possible.
You are the master of charming, wooing, manipulating, and intimidating.How Machiavellian Are You?

Burger and fries (Part 2)....

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(Second of three parts.)

Here in the Philippines, like every other country I suppose, fast food has taken a hold of how we perceive and ingest food in our daily routines. There are countless fast food restaurants, and there's hardly a stretch of road (in the cities at least) without one being readily visible. Virtually all of the major names are here, but the top sellers when it comes to the fast food staple of burger and fries are Jollibee (a local chain) and McDonald's, the American fast food giant.

McDonald's has had a massively successful run ever since the first franchise was opened by Ray Kroc in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1955. McDonald's restaurants have spawned all over the world, and the Philippines is no exception, with the first restaurant opening in 1981.

However, the local fast food market has been dominated by Jollibee, a chain which was first brought to existence in 1975 by Tony Tan Caktiong, a Filipino-Chinese. It was then that he set up a small ice cream…

I hate Mondays....

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Burger and fries....

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(First of three parts.)

No matter how hard I try, there's just no avoiding the occassional meal of fast food. Freeze-dried french fries deep fried in oil, grilled ground beef served between two slices of bread, topped with processed cheese and a selection of garnishes, tomato ketchup with more sugar than tomatoes, and a drink of post mix soda, all being made by cheap labor with machine-like efficiency.

Just thinking about how it's made turns me off, especially if you think about how "good" the stuff is for your body, which is to say that it's definitely not at all good for you. No good at all, with all the fat, salt, and sugar that all fast food are known to contain massive quantities of.

And yet, the moment we take a whiff of it, the moment we take our first bite, it's already too late. We've already succumbed to the temptation, and there's no stopping until the last morsel is consumed.

And who can blame us? The thing about fast food is that it really ta…

Star Trek: First Contact

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Several days ago, I found myself browsing the rows and rows of DVDs at Astrovision in SM North Edsa when I chanced upon a copy of Star Trek: First Contact (ST:FC). What's a self respecting trekkie to do? What would any trekkie do for that matter? Well, needless to say I bought it, another DVD to add to my already sizeable collection of Star Trek series and movies.

ST:FC, originally released in 1996, is the eighth Star Trek movie and the first to revolve solely on the characters of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This also has to be my favorite movie in the entire series.

In it, the crew of the Enterprise-E led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard thwart the attempts of a malevolent cybernetic alien race known as the Borg from going back in time and preventing a key moment in human history - Zefram Cochrane's historical first warp flight. This event was a turning point in human history, and led to first contact with the Vulcans. This meeting of two races ushered in a new age of peace, pros…

Happy Birthday!

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Happy birthday to Harold who's celebrating his birthday today.

Many happy returns!

The 5¼" drive and floppy disk....

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Obsoletus Instrumentum - The 5¼" drive and floppy disk

During the 80s up to the middle of the 90s, 5¼" disk drives and minifloppy disks were as common as CD-ROM drives and CD-ROMs are today. Not that there was much choice. In the early days only high-end PCs had hard drives, if at all, and optical drives were still some ways off in the future. However, you may be surprised to know that the floppy drive and its disks were actually invented in the late 60s and introduced way back in 1971 by IBM. Then, they were referred to as "memory disks."

The technology was developed by a team of IBM engineers led by Alan Shugart, who is often acknowledged to be its inventor. The first floppy disks consisted of a soft, "floppy" plastic disk measuring 8" in diameter coated with iron oxide and enclosed in a thin plastic protective envelope. The envelope had a hole in the center for the drive's hub-clamping mechanism, a rectangular hole with rounded ends for the rea…

What is Your Rising Sign?

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Your Rising Sign is Aquarius



You are an interesting mix of introspective and outlandish.

Waving your freak flag high, you really do things your own way.

While you may seem distant, you care very deeply for humanity.

You just have no tolerance for fools, slackers, or dullards.

And while you're fairly misanthropic, many are drawn to you.

Innovative and clever, people look to you for new ideas and trends.


What is Your Rising Sign?

How Weird Are You?

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You Are 70% Weird
You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!
How Weird Are You?

The Pasig City skyline....

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From nineteen floors up:
On a bright sunny day...


On an overcast afternoon...


On a rainy day...


On a rainy night. "When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure."

- Alice Hoffman

The Day You Said Goodnight

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The Day You Said Goodnight
Hale

Take me as you are,
Push me off the road the sadness,
I need this time to be with you
I'm freezing in the sun;
I'm burning in the rain
The silence;
I'm screaming,
Calling out your name.
And i do reside in your light
Put out the fire with me and find
Yeah you'll lose the side of your circles
That's what i'll do if we say goodbye.

To be is all i gotta be
And all that i see
And all that i need this time
To me the life you gave me
The day you said goodnight.

The calmness in your face
That i see through the night
The warmth of your light is pressing unto us
You didn't ask me why
I never would have known oblivion is falling down.
And i do reside in your light
Put out the fire with me and find
Yeah you'll lose the side of your circles
That's what i'll do if we say goodbye.

To be is all i gotta be
And all that i see
And all that i need this time
To me the life you gave me
The day you said goodnight.

If you could only know me like your prayers at night
The…

Toxic....

The past couple of days I've been moving back and forth between attending various committee and technical working group meetings, drafting various reports and position papers, attending a friend's father's wake, and just about everything in between. I've been busier than usual, and I can't seem to find the time to blog about anything sensible.

Lately, I can't even find the time to take a nap in the office. :-)

Well, things are sure to slow down by the end of the week. Probably by then I can catch up on some issues and ideas that have been brewing in my mind, waiting for the right moment to be transformed to blog posts.

Until then, I may be reduced to posting snippets like this one.

Begging your indulgence. :-)

The Purpose Driven Life

Don't associate with people you can't trust.
Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't pretend.
Don't dictate because you are smarter.
Don't demand because you are stronger.

Don't hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don't sell yourself, your family, or your ideals.
Don't stagnate!
Don't regress.
Don't live in the past. Time can't bring anything or anyone back.
Don't put your life on hold for possibly Mr./Mrs. Right.
Don't throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

Learn a new skill.
Find a new friend.
Start a new career.
Sometimes, there is no race to be won.
Only a price to be paid for some of life's more hasty decisions.

To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless.
To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy.
To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy.
Don't bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.

To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and …

Where's the music?

Thanks to LWS, I finally figured out how to embed background music right here on my blog. Unfortunately, I had to remove the code after I lost my file host. If anyone here knows of any free file hosting service with a generous storage space, high bandwidth allocation and allows direct linking, please let me know, ok? :-)

What's Your Blogging Personality?

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Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.What's Your Blogging Personality?

In search of the truth....

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It has been almost a week, but I still have goosebumps when I think about the travesty Congress committed when it voted in favor of accepting the Justice Committee's report dismissing all three impeachment complaints filed against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

During the course of the almost 24-hour session at the House we were first hand witnesses to democracy in action. Unfortunately, we were also witnesses to how democracy can be manipulated into subverting the search for the truth through brute force use of sheer numbers. A majority of people speaking out lies or half-truths does not make those lies or half-truths any more palatable or any closer to the truth than if only a minority spoke them out. It was also a blatant example of people using the legal intricacies of our Constitution and the technical complications of the House rules as a means of hiding the truth.

There are members of the House of Representatives who justify the results of the votation by quoting the Lati…

Eternal Rest....

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

For Edward's dad.

Pacquiao Wins!

Former featherweight champion Manny "The Pacman" Pacquiao lords it over Mexican opponent Hector Velasquez, setting up a possible rematch against Erik Morales who defeated Pacquiao via unanimous decision six months ago.

Pacquiao, after unleashing a relentless flurry of punches, knocks out Mexican opponent Hector Velasquez with a single second left remaining in the sixth round at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Velasquez tried to get up, but the referree stops the fight at the count of eight.

Congratulations to the Pacman!

Mabuhay ang Pilipino!

Links:

Pacquiao stops Velasquez in sixth round

Never forget

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September 11, 2001.

The al-Qaeda.

Nineteen hijackers.

Four airliners.

New York City.

The World Trade Center.

The North Tower. 8:46 AM.

The South Tower. 9:03 AM.

Arlington, Virginia.

The Pentagon. 9:37 AM.

Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Near Shanksville and Stonycreek Township. 10:03 AM.

Two thousand nine hundred eighty six dead.

A world changed.

Never forget.

Prayers....

A friend's father was recently confined in a hospital and placed under intensive care after suffering a rather severe heart attack. It would also seem that there were other serious complications.

This is without a doubt a very difficult and trying time for that friend of mine, and especially for his father. Perhaps you can say a little prayer for them and their families.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

James 5:15-16

The Pentium and Pentium MMX....

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Obsoletus Instrumentum - The Pentium and Pentium MMX

On March 22, 1993, Intel released its fifth generation processor and successor to its highly succesful 486 CPU - the Pentium processor.

Even though x86 processors at the time still lagged behind their RISC counterparts when it came to raw performance, the Pentium still represented a revolution as far as x86 processors were concerned. Intel borrowed a page from the RISC movement and designed a mainstream x86 processor with superscalar architecture - in a nutshell, the ability of a CPU to process more than one instruction per clock cycle. Today, all processors, from the lowliest Semprons and Celerons, to the top tier Pentium 4s and Athlon 64s, all possess superscalar architecture. And the original Pentium was the first x86 processor to have this feature.

The Pentium processor also possessed a 64-bit wide data path (internally it still had 32-bit registers), 16KB of Level 1 (L1) cache, and a fully pipelined floating point unit. Unfortunat…