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Showing posts from 2008

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies....

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
4 large eggs
cup nuts
2 cups dried fruit
(750 ml) bottle tequila (Jose Cuervo or your other favorite brand)

Directions:

1. Sample the tequila to check quality.
2. Take a large bowl; check the tequila again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
3. Pour one level cup tequila and drink.
4. Turn on the electric mixer.
5. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
6. Add one peastoon of sugar.
7. Beat again.
8. At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still ok, so try another cup just in case.
9. Turn off the mixerer thingy.
10. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
11. Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.
12. Mix on the turner.
13. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
14. Sample the tequila to check for tonsisticity.
15. Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.
16. Who geeves a sheet.
17. Check the tequila.
18. Add one t…

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

May the spirit of the love and sharing be with everyone not just this holiday season, but all year round.

My apologies for the lack of updates. The long vacation has a way of turning one's brain into mush. :-)

Telecommuting in government service....

Underneath is a brief position paper I wrote a few months back about how telecommuting could be instituted in government service. I gave a copy of this paper to my superior and even sent a copy of this to the Civil Service Commission. Frankly, I haven't been getting that much enthusiasm regarding telecommuting, but I think as a work arrangement, the time is right to try it out in government.

INSTITUTING TELECOMMUTING AS A
VIABLE WORK ARRANGEMENT IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE
Work is something you do, not something you travel to.

- Leonhard, Woody, The Underground Guide to Telecommuting

Business leaders in the Philippines now trust their employees to work remotely, according to a survey commissioned by business communication applications provider Avaya Inc. The study shows that 75 percent of Filipino managers now trust their staff to telecommute and 68 percent believe that allowing employees to telecommute improves their productivity.

- CIO.de

I. Introduction

With today’s spiraling fuel, electric…

Convexation....

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Reflection off an extremely well-polished cylindrical pillar at The Podium.

Back online....

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After almost a week of having no wired internet access at my home, I'm finally back online, with a new ADSL modem and faster speeds to boot.
ZyXEL P-600 ADSL modem.
Being able to browse the internet at up to 1 Mbps almost makes the aggravation worth it, but to be perfectly honest, I still think PLDT's service still stinks.

It was around two months before they really took action on my request to migrate my account from legacy DSL to IPDSLAM, and it involved quite a number of phone calls before they really did anything. There's lack of coordination between their customer service representatives and technical personnel, field technicians wouldn't arrive when they said they would, or they would arrive unannounced, and no one even bothered to mention that my internet connection would be dead for a few days to a week while the migration was in progress.

Well, at least my connection is up and running again, and for that I'm thankful. As for their service and tech support, I w…

Six days and counting....

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It's been six days, and I still don't have internet access at home, no thanks to PLDT's excruciatingly slow process of migrating my legacy DSL account to IPDSLAM (Internet Protocol Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer).

It all started in the last week of September, I forgot exactly when. I visited PLDT's office in SM Megamall and requested that my DSL account be migrated to IPDSLAM since I was only getting half the bandwidth I was supposed to be getting, based on their P999 plan. My request was promptly entered into their system, I was given a service order number for future reference, and I was reassured that the migration would be seamless, and I would notice an increase in my bandwidth allocation after several days.

After more than a month with no perceptible difference in browsing speeds I called up PLDT's customer service hotline (171). On my first call I was told their system was down so they were unable to follow up the status of my service request. Afte…

My second notebook....

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Several weeks ago I bought a new notebook computer to replace my aging Asus A9Rp. The Asus, while tough as nails and as reliable as a Toyota, was starting to get a bit long in the tooth, and compared to its contemporaries, getting to be a bit of a dinosaur.

While the Asus A9Rp is by no means a cutting edge notebook computer even when it was brand new, it was perfectly adequate for most computing purposes such as word processing, internet browsing, watching DVDs, and even gaming thanks to its built-in ATI Radeon™ Xpress 200M graphics. Where it does fall short, is in its size, and weight. It has a 15" screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, so it's not widescreen. Not being widescreen, the notebook itself occupies a fairly big squarish footprint which inevitably makes it heavier than average at about 3.26 kilograms (7.17 lbs). With today's notebooks (and netbooks) sometimes weighing less than half that, I decided it was time for a change...and this time, other than price, weight was…

So another impeachment is dead....

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So, another impeachment attempt is dead. So what else is new?

I guess it doesn't really matter. No one really expected the impeachment to gain ground in a House of Representatives dominated by allies and partymates of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Even with the damning revelations of former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr., considering he was once the President's chief lieutenant in keeping the House and its members in check.

It's been four years in a row, and hardly any impeachment attempt ever made it to first base, thanks to the sheer number of congressmen loyal to Malacañang. I guess it's our fault as well. We "technically" voted these people into office. They supposedly should represent the collective will of the Filipino people, and if the past four impeachment attempts are any indication, it would appear that the people do not want President Arroyo to be impeached.

Of course, we may never really know. Elections in this country, except for rare instances, …

Need a good laugh?

1. When I was born, I was given a choice - A big dick or a good memory. I don't remember, what I chose.

2. Your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory.

3. A wife is a sex object. Every time you ask for sex, she objects.

4. Impotence: Nature's way of saying 'No hard feelings...'

5. There are only two four letter words that are offensive to men - 'don't'
and 'stop', unless they are used together.

6. Panties: Not the best thing on earth, but next to the best thing on earth.

7. There are three stages of sex in a man's life: Tri Weekly, Try Weekly, and Try Weakly.

8. Virginity can be cured.

9. Virginity is not dignity, its lack of opportunity.

10. Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

11. I tried phone sex once, but the holes in the dialer were too small.

12. Marriage is the only war where you get to sleep with the enemy.

13. Q: What's an Australian kiss?
A: The same …

A time for change....

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Last November 4 marked a memorable moment in United States history. For the first time ever, Barack Hussein Obama II, an African-American, was elected to the most powerful political position in America, and arguably the most influential position in the world...the office of President of the United States of America.

Who would have thought that we would live to see it happen? In a country where black Americans have been classed as "inferior" from the days of slavery up to the civil rights movement in the late 1960s, to sporadic incidents of racial discrimination up to the present (the Rodney King riots, the O.J. Simpson murder case), the election of an African-American as President of the United States of America represents a watershed in modern history.

In a span of less than 150 years or six generations from Abraham Lincoln's monumental Emancipation Proclamation, black Americans have slowly but surely worked themselves up from being slaves to becoming prominent leaders a…

No parking....

At this very moment I'm sitting here in Starbuck's sipping a sugar-free, skim milk caffè latte, when I should be in my office. Lately it seems as if no matter how early (or late) I get to the office, I always find myself without an available parking space.

You know, it's kinda ironic.

I can take the office politics, the back-biting and back-stabbing, the office gossip, being passed over for promotion, being floated, etc., but somehow not having an available parking slot when I get to work has a strange bitterness unique to itself.

One day you realize you only have a job and not a career. It is no longer a calling which gets you out of bed in the morning, more often than not just an alarm clock which you don't hesitate to put into snooze mode when it blares out the opening salvo in the daily grind that you call your life.

You get dressed, brave the morning rush hour, in the process avoiding a number of rushing buses who would soon run you over rather than allow a competing …

Letter of Grandfather

One day, a young man was cleaning out his late grandfather' s belongings when he came across a bright red envelope. Written on the front were the words, "To my grandson." Recognizing his grandfather' s handwriting, the boy opened the envelope. A letter inside read:

Dear Grandson,

Years ago you came to me for help. You said, "Grandpa, how is it that you've accomplished so much in your life? You're still full of energy, and I'm already tired of struggling. How can I get that same enthusiasm that you've got?"

I didn't know what to say to you then. But knowing my days are numbered, I figure that I owe you an answer. So here is what I believe..

I think a lot of it has to do with how a person looks at things. I call it 'keeping your eyes wide open.'

First, realize that life is filled with surprises, but many are good ones. If you don't keep watching for them, you'll miss half the excitement. Expect to be thrilled once in a while, an…

Rig update....

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A couple of weeks ago I upgraded my entire PC...well, at least most of it, after my video card failed.

To be honest, I was quite happy with the performance of my old Athlon 64 rig, but after being faced with the prospect of a defective video card, it didn't seem right to invest in a new mid-range AGP video card, considering that PCI-Express is now the de facto video card interface, and AGP is on its way to extinction.

It started innocently enough. For no apparent reason my PC started crashing, and the startup screens started showing columns of weird checkerboard patterns. Strangely enough, I could run the PC perfectly fine when the video card was in VGA mode, but when I installed GeForce drivers and rebooted, nothing happened. Literally. The PC would just sit there, with the monitor blacked out. I could reboot into safe mode, but that was about all that I could do.

The symptoms my two-and-a-half year old Inno3D GeForce 6800LE showed seemed strangely similar to the symptoms exhibited …

It's my birthday!

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Happy 12th birthday son! :-)

So why do I still bother?

This blog is almost four years old.

It's no longer as popular as it once was, as I haven't been updating as regularly as I used to.

I don't really blog hop that much anymore either, so I haven't been getting many visits from my peers and contemporaries anymore.

Yet I still write when I have the chance.

There aren't as many people I can talk to as before as I sort of gave up slowly on some of my friends during the past few years, and the few friends that I still have, like most people, are busy with the humdrum of their own lives.

So blogging ends up as a form of catharsis for me, a chance to commit my thoughts to keyboard, to get my ideas in order, and free my mind of things that haven't really been sorted out, never mind if my posts are hardly read anymore. It was never really the point of this whole thing.

I started this blog for myself, and I have stayed true to that all these years.

A lot of my fellow bloggers, particularly those whom I started blogging with, have…

What if life was just a dream and we only wake up when we die?

I've often asked myself this question, though I could never really come up with a sensible answer.

It's a good question to think about though, seemingly contradictory in its inanity and its poignancy, yet, try as I might, I could never seem to rationalize where this question came from, or where it leads to.

We're all alive right now, here, in the present. If you follow a religion, any religion, chances are you share a belief in a life beyond this one, that the death of our physical bodies would lead us to a place of eternal peace and happiness...that is, if we are deserving, based on the actions we perform in this life.

Not to be blasphemous or anything, but I have always had a hard time dealing with that concept, even when I was very young. For one thing, I have sort of turned into a moral relativist over the years, and I have come to accept that it is not always proper to label one action "good" or another action "evil". It depends on the circumstances s…

Electing a US President in Plain English

For those of us outside the United States who have no idea how their elections work.

Note:

Turn off the background audio first at the bottom of the page before clicking the play button.

My CABAL Online character....

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patronus922. My CABAL Online character, a level 136 Force Shielder. Dual Transcender. Name is Latin for "guardian". Favorite skills: Shield Break, Shield Splinter, Blade of Judgement, Storm Crush. Just one of the diversions I turn to in my solitude.

Much ado about consultants….

A few days ago, a senior official of the government agency I work in summoned me to her office. There, I was told in not so many words that in view of our office’s poor performance when it comes to implementing information technology thrusts, she was planning to propose to top management the hiring of a Chief Information Officer (CIO), more than likely a consultant, to oversee IT development and deployment. She subsequently asked me if I would be willing to act as a special assistant/liaison to this proposed CIO.

While I did not refuse the assignment (in the grand scheme of things, I’m not in a position to refuse anyway), I found myself somewhat disturbed and somewhat revolted by the idea.

Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with hiring a consultant for a particular task...virtually all large corporations do it at one time or another. In fact, large corporations do it all the time. It just got me thinking; just what is it about consultants that seem to give people the impressio…

Thanks for the memory....

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Just recently upgraded my laptop's memory to 2 GB. Somehow 1 GB doesn't seem to cut it anymore, and memory is cheaper than it ever was, so might as well. Hopefully, disk grinding should be significantly reduced. And if it still isn't fast enough? Maybe I should just spring for that new Intel Core 2 Duo laptop. :-)

Message in a bottle....

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Always check your softdrinks bottle before drinking the contents, especially those using recycled glass bottles. You never know what else could be in there. In this recent example, you can clearly see an empty instant coffee sachet floating inside.

My RAN Online characters....

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nemesis922. Level 14x POW Swordsman. My first character. Nemesis means "an opponent which cannot be beaten or overcome". Nemesis in Greek mythology is also the goddess of retributive justice or vengeance. Favorite skills: Vacuum Slash and Tornado Slash.

amicus922. Level 12x INT Swordsman. Amicus in Latin means "friend". Favorite skills: Tranquility, Lightning Strike and Crescent Slash.

medicus922. Level 13x Full Support Shaman. Medicus is Latin for "doctor" or "physician". Favorite skills: Gift of Life, Resurrection and Spear Guardian's Wrath.

bellator922. Level 13x INT Brawler. Bellator in Latin means "warrior". It also means "warlike" and "courageous". Favorite skills: Blood Lust, Force Roar and Force Push.

vesta922. Level 13x Attack Support Shaman. Named after Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and domestic life. Favorite skills: Petrify and Infernal Punishment.

curio922. Level 10x Attack Support Shaman. Curio means…

Prayer for Bar examinees....

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Lord God, the creator of all, and fount of all knowledge and wisdom, I implore you to guide me in my undertaking to become a lawyer.

Open my mind to absorb, remember and live the principles of law and justice distilled in my readings and in the lectures I attend.

I beseech you to illumine the thoughts of the bar reviewers so they could be your instruments in guiding me.

Fill me with your grace, so I would have a clear mind in identifying the issues raised in the bar questions. Give light for me to discover the correct, just and ethical answers to the bar questions so I could pass the Bar.

Finally, grant me the serenity to accept whatever is thy will and show me the correct path to take for your greater glory.

AMEN.


(This is a non-sectarian prayer written by Prof. Abelardo T. Domondon)

Good luck to all bar examinees!

Next year it'll be my turn again. Hopefully it will be my last.

Full text of Sarah Palin's speech....

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Here is the full text of Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's speech made during the Republican National Convention held earlier today in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I have to say I was impressed. And I'm not even a Republican. Hell, I'm not even an American. John McCain is certainly lucky to have her as his running mate.

All in all, while Sarah Palin's speech may not necessarily be enough to prove that the has what it takes to be Vice President, much less that she's the best candidate for the position, it certainly establishes her as someone who doesn't pull punches and who's not afraid of a good fight. This will definitely makes the race a lot more exciting, and perhaps a lot closer than previously thought.

It's unfortunate we don't have politicians of her caliber here in the Philippines.

Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored to be considered for the nomination for Vice President of the United States..…

Follow me on Twitter....

I just created a Twitter account just to see what the fuss is all about...

But so far I'm not following anyone else, nor is anyone following me.

If you have a Twitter account, please feel free to follow me at http://twitter.com/ronallan (that is, if you're interested in following the life of what is perhaps the most boring person on the planet), or leave your Twitter address/e-mail address so I can follow you.

Who knows, you may find my life exciting. I sincerely doubt that though. :-)

The Teacup

There was this couple who used to go to shop in the beautiful stores. This was their 25th Wedding Anniversary. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially teacups.

One day in a fine shop, they saw this beautiful teacup. One said, "May I see that? I never have seen one quite so beautiful," and the lady handed it to him. As she handed it to him, suddenly the teacup spoke.

"You don`t understand," it said, "I haven`t always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, `Let me alone.` But he only smiled, `Not yet.`

"Then I was placed on a spinning wheel," the teacup said, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around and around. `Stop it! I`m getting dizzy` I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, `Not yet.`

"Then he put me in the oven. I`d never felt such heat! I wondered why he wanted to burn me. I yelled! I knocked at the door. I c…

Take the kid gloves off....

If you live here in the Philippines, and assuming you don't live under a rock somewhere, no doubt you've heard about the resurgence of violence down south, as the the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wreaks havoc on various towns and villages, killing civilians, burning houses, destroying public property.

The MILF is an armed group which has as its goal the secession of Muslim Mindanao, what they call Bangsamoro, from the Republic of the Philippines, and they have been using violence to further that goal for more than twenty years.

Recently, the Philippine government attempted to forge a peace plan with the MILF through a Memorandum of Agreement, which, among other things, establishes a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE). This, for all intents and purposes, is tantamount to creating a state within a state. All would be well in good, except for the fact that the government, either in a fit of arrogance, or an apparent display of bad faith, failed to consult local leaders, whos…