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Showing posts from November, 2005

Battlefield 2: Special Forces

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If you're a regular visitor of this blog, you may remember a post I made several months ago about Battlefield 2, an online multiplayer first person shooter set in contemporary times (see post here). It's a fabulous game by any measure, and Electronic Arts, in an effort to provide more hardcore combat action to more than a million shellshocked gamers hooked on Battlefield 2 has recently released an expansion pack for it entitled Battlefield 2: Special Forces.

The expansion pack gives Battlefield 2 a Counter-Strike flavor by adding specialized equipment such as zip lines, grappling hooks, tear gas, flash-bang grenades, night vision goggles and gas masks to an already potent arsenal. There are new weapons and vehicles as well, and, as you might well imagine, there is an increased emphasis on indoor combat, and for the first time, battles will be raging on at night.

The three original military factions in the game (United States Marines, People's Liberation Army of China, and t…

Coffee break....

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Some time ago my officemates and I met up with a former colleague of ours who's now working in Cambodia. Her recent return lasted only two weeks or so, and she was burdened with a rather hectic schedule, but nonetheless we managed a get together for a cup of coffee, and to reminisce about "the old days." :-) Some pics:















Next time you're in the neighborhood Doc, the coffee's on us. :-)

Flexing your mussels....

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Bet you never tasted mussels (tahong) prepared this way before. I haven't. :-)
Tahong crackers.


Adobong tahong.

Am I the only one?

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I used to be excited over the South East Asian (SEA) Games. Now, for some reason, I find myself uninterested in it at all. All the more disturbing is my lack of enthusiasm even though the games are currently taking place right here in the Philippines.

In case you're not familiar with the SEA Games, it's a biennial meet first established in 1958 for the purpose of promoting friendship among the different countries in Southeast Asia. Its member states include Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

The last time the Philippines hosted these games was way back in 1991, fourteen years ago. And now it's here again, but somehow, something's amiss. And its not just with the games themselves.

First of all, basketball is not included in the SEA Games. Basketball, the most popular sport in the country, is simply not among the events to be held in the games. Why? It's a complicated story to say the least.

Last Apri…

Which Elemental wonder are you??

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Snow

You are Snow. A magnificent, innocent and pure
delight of simply everyone! Children love and
adorn you, with their playful spirit and adults
wonder at your delicate blanket, so gracefully
laid across their paths. You bring a smile to
anyone and everyone's faces, and are a
wonderfully great person. You listen, care, and
love and bring peace and tranquility to all
negative situations. 'Snow can blanket our
fields and paths and melt, but will allways
blanket our hearts'


Which Elemental wonder are you?? Fantastic results and beautiful pictures
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My start into shooting....

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While we're on the subject of guns, why don't I tell you about how I got started into shooting and about the very first gun I bought. My interest was piqued about ten years ago by a number of colleagues at work who routinely practice indoor target shooting. There were even some who regularly compete in practical pistol shooting meets. Deciding that pistol shooting may be desirable skill to have, not only for sport, but potentially for personal defense, I bit the bullet (pun intended) and bought my first handgun in 1998 after a rather thorough selection process. The handgun I chose was a Taurus PT-915B 9 mm pistol which I purchased from Trust Trade Philippines. I still own that gun to this day. Unfortunately, it hasn't seen much use as a target shooting weapon ever since they significantly raised the cost of carry permits, but I plan on rekindling this hobby of mine in the future, whenever my time and finances would allow.

Technically speaking, the Taurus PT-915B is a blue…

Four Rules of Gun Safety

Consider Every Gun as Loaded - Every gun has the potential for danger. Accidents happen because “I thought the gun was empty”. If you always assume that a gun is loaded, you avoid accidents.
Never let the muzzle of a gun point at anything you do not intend to shoot - If a gun is fired accidentally, the chances of harm is avoided if it is pointed in a safe direction. Do not let the muzzle (the hole where the bullet exits) point at people, at surface which can be penetrated and where there may be people behind.
Keep your firearm finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire - A gun will not fire unless the trigger is deliberately pressed. Do not touch the trigger until you have set your gun sights on a target and you are ready to shoot.
Be sure your target and what is around it - When you have made a decision to shoot, make sure you know where the bullet will end up. If you miss, the bullet can hit an innocent bystander or go through a wall and hit someone behind.
The Four Rules o…

Renewing my irons....

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Late last week I found myself at the Firearms and Explosives Division (FED) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) located at its headquarters in Camp Crame. I was there to renew my firearm licenses which have expired almost two months ago.

Unlike my previous visit two years ago when I last renewed my firearm licenses, the renewal process is now, quite suprisingly, a model of efficiency, with very short lines, less documentary and procedural requirements, less bureaucracy, and overall faster processing.

Significantly speeding up the process nowadays is the omission of two steps that were required before, the previously mandatory gun safety seminar, and the practical and written tests. The gun safety seminar supposedly brushes you up on the basics of gun safety, and covers subjects ranging from the proper way of handling and storing firearms, to the technicalities of firearm licenses and permits. Your knowledge of these topics is tested in a written exam, along with a practical shootin…

What the...?

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Where the hell is my promised 512 kbps bandwidth? PLDT myDSL promised me half a megabit per second of bandwidth, and I'm still getting less than that. They have also boasted that my plan will soon be getting a bandwidth boost to 768 kbps. So, where is it?

I want my bandwidth now!!!

Music plagiarism?

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I know a lot has been said and written about this issue in various websites and blogs for the past several weeks, but I'd like to add my two cents worth before this issue finally goes the way of the dodo.

This is with regard to alleged plagiarism committed by the local band Orange and Lemons (OaL) in making their hit song Pinoy Ako, the popular theme song of the reality TV show Pinoy Big Brother.

The song Pinoy Ako bears an uncanny resemblance to the 80s new wave song Chandeliers by The Care. This is without a doubt beyond coincidence, and this was even confirmed to by Clem Castro, vocalist and guitarist of OaL, who admitted in a Yahoo! egroup thread that the song was inspired by The Care’s Diamonds and Emeralds and Chandeliers.

While there's nothing inherently wrong about that, since being inspired by other songs is a common occurrence in songwriting. However, if you listen to both songs, the resemblance somewhat straddles the line from being classified as a "derivative w…

Xmas lights....

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The Xmas lights set up outside our house. The pictures also show how inept I am at taking pictures in the dark. :-)




On marriage, spouses, annulment and divorce....

Foreword:

This is one of my very first posts, made more than a year ago. Just thought I'd post it again.

Since it is more than a year old, and written during the dawn of my blogging days, it doesn't really meet my present standards as far as the writing style and thoroughness are concerned, especially taking into consideration the fact that it deals with a rather touchy subject for some. Then, I just wrote for myself, about whatever comes to mind, without any regard for the sensitivities of an audience. A year later, some things have changed. Not only are there people kind enough to actually read what I post, my thoughts about the subject have also changed somewhat...mellowed down if you will, perhaps because of time and age.

However, I still think this post is still interesting, even a year down the road. Consequently, I didn't bother updating or rewriting it, and posted it exactly how it came out a year ago. As such, if you find it lacking in some aspect, don't forget …

Selfish

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I love songs from the nineties. They remind me of a time when things were much...simpler. Then, you could actually sing along to dance music, not like this trance/club/house/rave thing we now have going on. Not that I was much of a dancer, or a partygoer for that matter. I must be getting old. :-) But I do love the music. This song just happens to be one of the tunes that I liked then, and it evokes a lot of memories. The lyrics aren't half bad as well. In fact, most of you could probably relate to them. I did, at one time. Not anymore though. Or do I still? :-)

Feel free to sing along. :-)


Selfish
The Other Two

Someone I hate,
she think she's great unless you state the obvious.
You're next to me, entirely let's wait and see

Someone like you, selfish it's true
All you can do it's plain to see entirely you disagree

No sense of reason, you think it's true
Why did you have to believe them?
No sense of reason,
What do I have to do?
There's no one else
You're deceivin…

On not being a morning person....

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I was never a morning person.

I'm so not a morning person, that I often find myself late in going to work. Of course, I'm not late that often, or otherwise I'd probably find myself the recipient of disciplinary action because of a habitual tardiness. The point of the matter is, I'm definitely not a morning person, no matter how hard I try to be one.

Some people may think that I'm lazy or something, but the simple truth is I just find it hard to function during early mornings. This difficulty manifests itself right after I wake up in the morning. I don't know why, but more often than not I wake up feeling all sluggish, hoarse, and stuffy. I find it somewhat difficult to breathe because my nose is all stuffed up. My throat is dry, probably from breathing through my mouth while asleep. My voice is all raspy. I can't think straight. And my body aches, probably from sleeping in a wrong position. Eventually these unpleasant sensations subside, but it usually takes…

Guess who's back?

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Virgilio Garcillano, the controversial former COMELEC Commissioner implicated in the "Hello Garci" brouhaha five months ago is reportedly back in the Philippines according to his wife.

Just when everyone seemed to be just about ready to close the book on the Gloriagate scandal, Garcillano's return suddenly brings new life into the issue.

So, did she or didn't she?

This is only one of the tons of questions that await him if he ever does make himself available for questioning either in Congress or in the Senate.

Of course, whether his return was a genuine attempt to return to the fold of the law and disclose what he truly knows, or a scripted attempt by Malacañang or perhaps even the opposition to muddle and manipulate the issue, that still remains to be seen. Anything said at this point will just be idle speculation.

Personally, I do hope he comes out with the truth. He is in a position to once and for all establish the veracity of the accusations against the President, a…

What Matrix Persona Are You?

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Well, I was hoping I would turn out to be Neo, but hell, I'll take Trinity. :-) Did I mention that the Matrix trilogy is my all time favorite? :-)
You are Trinity, from "The Matrix."
Strong, beautiful- you epitomize the ultimate
heroine.


What Matrix Persona Are You?
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No, THIS is the truth....

If you blog long enough, sooner or later you'll probably run into one of those weird people who will say negative things about your blog for no clearly apparent reason. Well, someone was kind enough to tell me that I've ran into my first "dissatisfied visitor," and I have been accused, of all things, plagiarism.

The somewhat derogatory remark was from an anonymous comment from another blog alluding to yours truly for allegedly plagiarizing blog entries from other bloggers.

I normally don't regard nasty anonymous comments as worth replying to because you see, if a person is not really willing to take credit for an unsavory comment, that doesn't really speak well of that person's conviction regarding his or her beliefs, nor his or her own integrity.

But I guess it doesn't hurt to post my own side of the issue, and probably to get some things straight with the way I blog.

Plagiarism defined in simple terms is the act of copying someone else's work and …

Who Packed Your Parachute?

Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today!"

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he had looked like in a…

How NERDY are You?

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Picked this up from Snglguy's blog. I guess I just had to find out. :-) Surprised? I didn't think so. :-)

Four Seasons of a Tree

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Four Seasons of a Tree

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said no--it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but ONLY one season in the tree's life. He told them that you canno…

Reported first case of bird flu in California

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Received through email. Reportedly the first case of bird flu in California. :-)

What's Your High School Stereotype?

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You scored as Loner.

Loner44%Drama nerd25%Prep/Jock/Cheerleader19%Geek13%Punk/Rebel6%Goth6%Ghetto gangsta0%Stoner0%
What's Your High School Stereotype?
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Which mental disorder do you have?

You scored as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Congratulations! You are obsessive-compulsive! You know nothing curbs images of mutilating your mother like a good counting/checking/washing ritual... wait, DID you forget to turn off the stove???

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder42%Unipolar Depression33%Eating Disorders17%Borderline Personality Disorder17%Schizophrenia8%Antisocial Personality Disorder0%
Which mental disorder do you have?
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Drawing a blank....

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I've been racking my brain the past day or so thinking of a subject to write a post on. Unfortunately, I can't seem to think of any. I guess I'm just a bit blogged out at this point.

Actually, I thought about a lot of interesting things to write about. However, I can't seem to find the time to make the appropriate research before I get down to writing. Might as well move them back down the line.

I also have a ton of unfinished drafts in my drafts folder, but I can't seem to get myself to finish them. Just seems like too much work. Well, what can I say? It happens. I'll should be out of this writing rut in a day or so. I probably just need to recharge the old creative juices.

Kinda ironic don't you think? Getting writer's block the day after this blog celebrates it's first birthday? :-)

So that your visit here won't be a total waste of time (if it isn't already) how about I try to entertain you with some quiz results? :-) Ah yes, the old staple …

What kind of blogger are you?

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VERBAL VIRTUOSE:
You are the verbal virtuose that we would all like
to be. You read a lot and write effortlessly
and well. Everyone is waiting for your novel!


What kind of blogger are you?
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This blog is one year old....

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It was exactly a year ago that I started this blog. Never really expected my infatuation with blogging to last this long, but here I am, still blogging away. :-) My heartfelt thanks to everyone who dropped by and, in one way or another, contributed to making this blog what it is today.
Seeking the truth since November 2004. Read my very first blog post here. It doesn't really say much, but it is my first ever post.

I wrote about my start in blogging and some of my thoughts about it as an activity here, during the last International Webloggers' Day celebration.

So one year and 607 posts later, what now? Well, I'll probably continue blogging as long as there's something to write about. And there always is...:-)

Thanks again, and hope you people don't tire of visiting. :-)

A True Story

A True Story
by Malcolm Forbes

A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly without an appointment into the Harvard University President's outer office. The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in Cambridge.

"We want to see the president," the man said softly. "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped. "We'll wait," the lady replied. For hours the secretary ignored them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go away. They didn't and the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always regretted.

"Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave," she said to him. He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn'…

A Gift of a Bible

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealers showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted. As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car.

Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was ve…

Think they offer free refills?

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Seen at Starbucks:
Sir, would you like your coffee short, tall, grande, or humongous?

"Latino Heat" dies....

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This is for all wrestling fans out there.

WWE Superstar Eddie Guerrero was found dead Sunday morning, November 13, in his room at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center. He was 38.

Cause of death remains unknown at the time of this posting, though heart failure is suspected, after he was allegedly found lying in the bathroom floor with a toothbrush still in his mouth.

He was born on October 9, 1967 in Mexico, the son of the legendary wrestler Gory Guerrero.

He has had an amazing wrestling career starting in the Lucha Libre, in Japan, in the ECW, the WCW, and finally with the WWE, where he had his last match on the November 11 edition of Friday Night SmackDown versus Mr. Kennedy.

According to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, "Eddie was a wonderful, fun-loving human being. Eddie was a consummate performer."

His presence shall be missed in the wrestling world.

Bug chasing - what the hell are they thinking?

According to an article on RollingStone.com, there are actually some people who are deliberately trying to get infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. They are known as bug chasers, and the pursuit of the virus, known as bug chasing. If this is indeed true (and this is still debatable), this probably takes the cake for being the most stupid sexual fetish that I have ever read about. I just think it's sick how these people trivialize a scourge that has taken such a huge toll in human life and has caused a lot of pain and suffering. But that's just my opinion. Here's an excerpt:

Carlos nonchalantly asks whether his drink was made with whole or skim milk. He takes a moment to slurp on his grande Caffe Mocha in a crowded Starbucks, and then he gets back to explaining how much he wants HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. His eyes light up as he says that the actual moment of transmission, the instant he gets HIV, will be "the most erotic thing I can imagine." He s…

Getting a physical....

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Yesterday I had my annual employee physical examination, courtesy of my office's employee medical program. I wasn't really interested in availing of it, since I prefer going to my own personal physicians, but since it was free, it gave me an opportunity to get second opinions, and I would be allowed to get the day off, I said to myself: "Well, why not? And so off I went.

It wasn't that comprehensive an exam though. They usually reserve the complicated exams for the older employees. I had to give a blood sample for lipid profiling and a sample of my urine for urinalysis. Blood extraction always stings, but I think I have gotten used to it after all of the bloodwork I had done in the past. As for the urine sample, I had some difficulty aiming my stream in the cup, but I produced my sample, nonetheless. :-)

My vision was tested, and I performed quite poorly without my glasses. I could still see relatively well even without corrective lenses (of course "relatively we…

What Cute Animal Are You?

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Found this on OptyMyst's blog. Thought I'd give it a whirl as well. :-) You Are A: Bear Cub!
Bears are strong and independent creatures who roam in the forest in search of food. Bears are usually gentle, but anger one and be prepared for their full fury! You're big, you won't back down from a fight -- classic attributes of a bear. Intelligent and resourceful, though lazy at times, you are a fascinating creature of the wild.

You were almost a:Duck or a Lamb
You are least like a:Chipmunk or a TurtleWhat Cute Animal Are You? Do you think it suits me? :-)

Light at the end of the tunnel....

There may just be light at the end of the tunnel for the more than 44 million carriers of HIV worldwide.

A 25 year-old man, diagnosed as HIV positive in August 2002, was discovered to be HIV negative 14 months later, in October of 2003.

Briton Andrew Stimpson, is reported to be the only person to contract HIV, and beat it. While it has been supposedly confirmed that there was no mix-up in his positive and negative HIV tests, Stimpson has declined offers for additional testing to verify the results, and possibly to come up with a scientific explanation.

This is the first and only well documented case of a human being infected with HIV successfully being able to purge it from his system spontaneously, without the use of any drugs or medications. It is hoped that the initial positive and subsequent negative results of Stimpson could be verified. If so, the key to a cure may just lay within Stimpson's immune system. And with it, hope for all the HIV carriers around the world.

Links:

I'…

For the first time....

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I broke into PinoyTopBlogs.com's top ten. :-) My standing is usually in the hundreds or so, so making it this high was quite a pleasant surprise. :-) If you're curious to see how your blog ranks up with other blogs in the Pinoy community, why don't you sign up? :-)

My thanks to everyone who visited this blog. And please, feel free to drop in again at any time. :-)

Set your blog on fire....

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With add-ons from FlamingText.com. Design your own banners, buttons, and other custom images for your blog or website.

Thanks LWS for the tip. :-)

Resident Evil 4

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It's been a while since I last played a console game, much less finished one. Bringing me out of my console gaming hiatus was the fourth (actually, it's the sixth) installment of Capcom's Resident Evil series, the series which virtually created the survival horror video game genre. And it was definitely worth coming out of my hiatus for. I'm talking about Resident Evil 4.

Let me say it first. Resident Evil 4 is the best survival horror video game I have ever played, and I have played almost all of them. It takes the franchise's great story and characters, adds the perfect balance of action, thrills and suspense, ease of play, and tops it all off with incredible graphics and sound. Easily the best Resident Evil game ever, and arguably the best of the genre.

And I almost never got to play it. Initially it was only announced for the Nintendo Gamecube. Like 90 million other console gamers in the world, I have a Sony PlayStation 2 instead. Capcom fortunately had a change…

Stolen identitities? - Redux

After reviewing in my head the details as mentioned to me by Ning, the various comments to my post Stolen identities, and also taking into consideration the availability of very few facts with regard to her fake blog, I have concluded that there simply could be more than one possible explanation how her old blog name could have been resurrected. These are the possibilities:
Someone who knows Ning's login name and password could easily login her account and create a new blog in place of the old (deleted) one;
Someone who may not necessarily know Ning's login name and password could also still create a blog with the same name, as long as the old URL is available.While the former may be a practice of some unscrupulous people who violate the trust other people put in them by misusing login names and passwords, the latter is an activity performed by others who either want to take advantage of the popularity of certain URLs, even inactive ones (for whatever purpose), or potentially po…

Be thankful

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 7 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. He knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.

Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back..

She turned to go a…

What Famous Leader Are You?

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