Friday, November 27, 2009

Emotions on Thanksgiving Week

This was some week.

APPREHENSION. about the upcoming licensure exams this coming sunday and monday. This should have been the only thing on my mind but somehow, it was the least of my worries. I’m worried because I don’t feel worried.

OUTRAGE. at the IMPUNITY (this is the strongest word I could find) of the people behind the massacre in Maguindanao where 57 people, all civilians were brutally killed while exercising their democratic rights. Either the masterminds were SOOOO STUPID to think that they could get away with it or they were so brazen because they KNEW they WOULD get away with it. And after seeing the government’s actions so far, they might actually get away with it.

WORRY. Our 8 year old dalmatian had to be admitted to a vet clinic. He had been straining every time he pees for the last 2 weeks. We were planning to take him to the vet after the exams but last Wednesday, he couldn’t even get a drop out. EMERGENCY. Turns out dalmatians are prone to kidney stone formation and that seems to be the case because there were stone fragments after he was catheterized. I’m worried because we might have to decide to have him put down if he doesn’t improve. I don’t know if I can handle being part of that decision.

PRIDE. yes, there was a good thing that occurred. A Filipino, Efren PeƱaflorida was awarded by CNN as hero of the year for his pushcart classrooms. It reminds me that there still are selfless people here and not just the power-hungry, soul-less bastards that caused my feelings of outrage.

I'm looking and hoping for a quiet week ahead.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Kansas Bob’s post, On Life Space, & Priorities, he posted the story of an astronaut who was space-walking when his daughter was born (back on Earth). Bob commented,

“...I wonder how often the rest of us miss important life events because of work or other seemingly important things.”

When I finished my medical degree, I didn’t go into specialty training because I was burnt out from the many years of school. What I said would be just 2 years has already become 4 years and counting. I could be a specialist by now.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My First Blog Award :D

I've been blogging since 2005, but this is the first time a fellow blogger has passed something like this :D

1. Thank whoever gave this to you: Thank you Layla! I don't really know how long we've been reading each other's blogs but I've made a friend through blogging.

2. Copy Award

3. Post it in your blog.

4. Tell us 7 things your readers don't know about you: This is the hard part, hmmmm.....
        a. I have 3 college degrees already but still live with my parents
        b. I'm afraid of spiders
        c. This isn't my real name but i've been using it for more than 10 years, I wouldn't mind legally changing my firstname if it wasn't such as hassle :D
        d. I hate being made to wait during planned activities.
        e. I secretly wish I had more beauty than brains haha
        f. If I can't have "e" I'd settle for more money :p to buy gadgets
        g. the most important thing you may not yet know about me is burried in the old posts of this blog

5. Link 7 new bloggers
        Jarred, Bob, Reyjr, Jae, Zorlone, Dale, Kelvin

6. Notify winners of the award with a comment on their blog

7. Keep being awesome.

Life & Death, and Facebook

I saw this status on a Facebook account of someone I know:

“going home to the Philippines to bury my dad”

It’s shocking news. But I don’t wanna react yet. Maybe the “dad” he refers to is someone else other than his biological father. Someone whom he fondly calls “dad”. I really, really hope it’s not his biological father.

[fingers crossed]

UPDATE: text messages to people around seem to confirm that it's true. Feel so sad suddenly. Heavy heart.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Broadband Wars: PLDT myDSL


The Philippines isn’t even on the chart! Maybe it’s because the major telco over here is still promoting 384KBPs DSL speeds bundled with their landlines. Maybe if I was in Japan, I wouldn’t mind loosing 1 or 2 MBPs but over here every KB/s is worth fighting for.

I’m not one to rant easily but recent discoveries really have annoyed me. 3 years ago we had our first ever broadband connection - 384KBPs courtesy of SmartBro for about $20/mo. Service was consistent but there could be up to 3 computers using the net at a given time at home so we needed more bandwidth

Towards the end of 2007, we came across PLDT’s offer of ‘up to 1MBPs’ for the same amount of $20/mo. Not to be defensive, but I made every inquiry as to if we were qualified to subscribe to them and every answer was always “YES!”. We subscribed to Xperience.


Speed was consistently (ave and max) at 600 - 650KBPs. I inquired about this several times and was told that the speed we received depended upon many factors like distance from the relay station, # of subscribers in the area, etc. etc. Anyway, the service was also consistent, aside from not ever reaching 1MBPs we had no complaints.

2008. Most telcos now offered ‘up to 1MBPs’ speeds at $20/mo but hey, that’s what we had already… or so we thought.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Movie Review (MR): 2012

I like movies that don't require me to use my brain :D Just pure simple entertainment and no mental activity.

2012. Plot is simple: earth undergoes interior decorating, most earthlings die. That's exactly what you get. Those who want something with more depth will find their intelligence insulted by this movie.


Visual effects are great. They tried to also show the disaster from a personal perspective like War of the Worlds and that's where it falls short for me. I mean acting wasn't that good. If there was a bit more drama it would have been a great movie but the actors couldn't pull it off (Dakota Fanning was busy shooting New Moon). Somehow there was more drama in Transformers2 amidst the explosions and metal wreckage (loved this movie, pure testosterone).

My other complaint is, in Independence Day, the director, Roland Emmerich didn't send an alien ship to hover over Malacanang Palace,


and in 2012 he didn't even show the sinking of our city... He could have just used the recent footage from the recent typhoons :p and saved millions of shooting costs.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ordinarily Uneventful

During the past few months I’ve added a lot of blogs to my reading list. Seems as if I’m one of those with only a few things to write about. It really takes effort to think of something to blog about that isn’t about computers and the internet. It really gets me thinking sometimes if my life is really uneventful and routinely boring.

I’m not really a risk taker and even if I’m complaining, I think I prefer routines than surprises. But once in a while, it would be nice to have something out of the ordinary to tell. Something that would inspire, something funny, or even heartwarming.

But I’m afraid I’ll get what I wish for. So, for now I’m content blogging about the ordinary and the uneventful :D

Here are some tips that I should follow but am too bad at following :D

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photoblog: 1000 Words

I’m officially launching my photoblog. I needed somewhere to place the pictures I have gathered. Drop by every now and then and I’d appreciate it if you could leave a comment or two or three… :D


Friday, November 13, 2009

Blog Renovation

Last Saturday, I decided to apply the finishing touches to my blog template. If I knew then of the headaches it would cause, I wouldn’t have started it. Here are the changes:

This includes the decorated columns on both sides. Somehow the source file was missing when I first used this template from Bloggerstyles. Fortunately I came across it. It took me a whole night to fix this. It turns out that that Flickr and Photobucket offers the file only in resized versions and not the original if it’s more than 1024 x 768. I used Skydrive instead to host the file (and yet Internet Explorer refuses to display it).


I got this idea from another template on Bloggerstyles and copied the code. Thankfully it wasn’t that hard to integrate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Keeping It Personal

A fellow blogger recently posted “How personal Is Your Blog?” I take it that this means how much of myself I reveal in my blog. That really got me thinking. The reason I started blogging was because I wanted to be able to tell things the way I perceived them, to be able to talk about anything (including myself) without fear of being judged.  Another blogger friend recently moved her blog address in case her future employers would try to learn more about her via her blog. I guess Freedom of Speech, like all other freedoms, has it’s consequences…

Is my blog personal? It was easy at the start, when there were only a few readers and it helped that I didn’t use my real name. But there was also this part of me that wanted people I knew to read what I wrote. Slowly I spread word of my blog and eventually a few people who know me personally read it from time to time.

But I can’t have it both ways - being able to talk/write freely and letting people know what I’m writing. If you look at my previous posts, yes, this is a very personal blog. I think along the way I have made it very clear whatever it was that I really wanted to say.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For Better or for Worse

Just had a home call recently. A retired couple requested for me to visit them at their home. The wife was strong and had a sharp mind but the husband was going through regression. If you know someone going through the same thing, you understand how hard it can be on their loved ones.

I don't really know if its hard but I can't see otherwise by looking at them. I don't know how the wife manages to cope. Instead of being partners, she's now a mother again who has to take care of a toddler.

Maybe that's love... Or it might also be resignation to the fact that there's no other choice.

I just think that the wife's life is being wasted. She could still accomplish many things. Instead she's stuck at home taking care (literally) of her husband. How could anyone accept that fate?

(PS: for the past few posts you may have noticed that I have been writing about techy stuff. This is still a personal blog and not a Tech Blog... It's just that since mid-september, I have been caught up in computers / internet again and my social life has taken a vacation)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Search for the Perfect Laptop BackPack

Actually I already found it at the Travel Club shop in SM North, but at the price of $140+ I’m pretending I didn’t find it… so the search goes on.

Since I inherited my dad’s laptop, I’ve been bringing it along most of the time. The laptop itself isn’t heavy but add the power cables, USB drive, external harddisk, USB broadband modem, cellphone chargers… you get the idea. I have a backpack but it just isn’t very ergonomic or comfortable to use for long walks.

So I’ve been obsessing with finding a laptop backpack that will bring and end to back and shoulder pains and which hopefully at the same time won’t become a pain in my pocket. I guess if money wasn’t an issue I wouldn’t be posting about this.

Well I’ve narrowed my choice down to 2. I just loved the Euro Pack backpack I found in SM North’s Department store but (1) the display model was the last one and (2) it was $56 scrooge! of course my back wasn’t hurting yet so I passed that by and regretted it once I got home and felt the backpains

I found another good choice. This time from Samsonite (unfortunately the model isn’t in their website). It’s bright red (yey!) and $54 *sigh* . I was still hoping for a cheaper one.

So I spent a whole 2 hours thinking and rethinking which one I should buy… The Euro Pack had better functionality and seemed to be as good (even better) quality as the Samsonite. Then I found out that Euro Pack was a local brand Whaaaaaaaat! I don’t mean to put down locally made products but the $56 was it’s sale price down from $80! whaaaat! I mean c’mmon! I thought it was made in a European Country *sigh* I really like the way it’s made.just an idea :D

As for Samsonite… well it’s Samsonite.

Of course the real question is, am I willing to part with $50+ considering that Christmas is just around the corner and I may have other things I need to buy.

Seems like I’ll be having back pains till the end of this year. :D

If you’re having a hard time thinking of what to get me let make it easier… I want THIS or a great fully-padded ergonomic smallest size backpack that can fit a 13-inch laptop :D

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tech Rush: Ubuntu (Linux) - The Underdog

A few days ago, I posted about my experience and opinions using Microsoft Windows and Apple Snow Leopard.

[UPDATE: I've since upgraded to Windows 7 and it really does improve on Windows Vista. But it's more of streamlining changes. I don't really see why Microsoft says its a brand new OS rather than an update to Vista.]

It turns out, there was still another OS very capable of providing what 'average' users require - Linux. Basically how I understand it is that Linux is the source code of an operating system. Many developers have made their own user interfaces around the Linux code. The interface I've recently been hearing about often is Ubuntu.

I've really looked down on Linux for the past years. There are many laptops sold here at a cheaper price often come with Linux as the operating system. I snobbed those models.

I don't really know why, but the news about Ubuntu in various websites and from twitter users made me curious. Without even looking at it's webpage I downloaded the installation file, burned it to a DVD and installed it.

I was surprised! What I thought was a 2nd rate OS, turned out to be a quite capable one. It automatically installs many programs to get you started immediately. There's Firefox for browsing, Open Office which takes the place of Microsoft Office and many, many others.

It boots up a lot faster than windows, it can use as litte as 2.5GB of disk space, it uses less memory, it'll run on almost any machine with ease, and Ubuntu and most of the software for it is FREE!

The only thing I'm looking for is a good blogging client, and a Linux equivalent of Adobe Indesign. If you make complicatedly long documents or you're a graphic designer maybe Linux isn't for you because Microsoft Office and Photoshop don't have Linux versions. But if you're like me who makes the occasional word document, blogs, chats, tweets, uses Facebook, listens to music... Linux is more than enough.

Sure if you want to customize you're Linux desktop, you may have to go into the Terminal (gasp) which looks like the DOS prompt of decades ago and arm yourself with programming skills. But if you not into that much customizing you'll be content with Ubuntu.

It's FREE!

(PS: This post was made purely in Ubuntu)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jackets Out

There are 2 things about me I've discovered thanks to blogging:
  1. 1. I don't know how to make an introduction of myself. I dread those "About You" "Describe Youself" "Your Profile"
  2. 2. I don't know how to make a good ending. Blog posts, lectures, presentations, The ending always seems... well it doesn't seem like an ending.

When I was writing my previous post, I was enjoying the warm sunshine and cool breeze. Well that has changed. Just the following day it started raining. Not strong but enough to get you wet if you happen to go out without an umbrella.

Now people have an excuse for bringing out their jackets, which have been in closets for the better part of the year. I personally don't like cold weather. For some reason pimple outbreaks always coincide with cold weather. Christmas photos usually need more time under Photoshop :D

And when it's cold, I'm usually too lazy to take a shower :p

Yup, this is the end of this post :D

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Describing my Boring Day

I forgot which of those in my blog list tried making it kinda poetic in describing his day. Somehow I've realized that if I blog in English I tend to be a bit formal with my words. I'll be trying out blogging in the vernacular from time to time (with English translation of course). For the meantime here's my day so far:

Woke up to sunshine shining through my window. It was nice to feel some warmth after several weeks of cloudy skies and typhoon-filled weekends. It was my favorite kind of day: hot sunshine and a continuous cool breeze. I call it beach weather.

Had to work for half a day. Nothing much to do except catch up on my reading. As usual, after the first 2-3 pages, I was half asleep. This time I was prepared. I brought audio reviewers too so when I felt groggy enough, I put on my mp3 player and listened instead of read. When work came, I'd feel awake enough to read again... and get sleepy again so back to the audio... after a few cycles, I had a headache.

Lunch came and went and I had to go to the mall and do some errands... bank transactions actually. Weather was still great. Every seemed to be enjoying the day. No one was in a hurry, no blowing of horns, no fast paced walking.

Now that I've spent the last 2 hours waiting in line at 2 banks (it was a long weekend and the end of the month) I'm here at Krispy Kreme enjoying the free wifi while enjoying their donuts and oreo drinks. Hmmmm.... it really is very unhealthy but sweet :D

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tech Rush: TweetDeck & Digsby

I am still looking for the perfect desktop client for Twitter AND Facebook. There are many Twitter clients that offer full functionality and even additional functions like automatic URL shortening and uploading of pics to twitpic and other similar sites. However, I haven't found a Facebook client (even standalone ones) that completely removes the need to log into Facebook via a browser.

For the meantime, I'm using 2 programs: TweetDeck on the Mac and Digsby on Windows.

TweetDeck - this program runs on Adobe Air which is a kind of mini-OS. The advantage of Air is that applications run the same way on whatever platform. The downside is that programs running on Adobe Air usually use up more memory. TweetDeck offers columns for a variety of feeds. You can have columns for tweets, another one for direct messages, mentions and others. Here you can tweet back, retweet and others. For Facebook, there are columns for the main news feed, photos, videos, etc. You can "like" and comment on posts. Even if the main window is minimized, notifications appear onscreen for a few seconds when there are updates. You can tweet back, retweet, like, comment via these notifications during those few seconds.


I still am looking for additional features on the Facebook implementation: Friends cannot see that you're online and you don't get any notifications when others comment or "like" your posts or the posts you have commented on. The lack of the latter is really what turns me off because I still have to log into Facebook to check for new comments. It supports multiple Twitter accounts but only a single Facebook account. After about 3 hours of use, it's not uncommon to have memory usage reaching 200MB+!

digbsy Digsby on the other hand uses the Instant Messenger approach. It's interface is similar to YM and Windows Messenger. It supports YM, AOL, Google Talk, Windows Messenger, and Facebook chat. Online contacts appear in it's window just like YM. Feeds from multiple twitter and Facebook accounts appear as pop-ups where you can tweet, retweet, comment and "like" posts. Your online friends in Facebook can see that you're online, which is a good thing.

A nice feature here is that if you are doing something else while chatting with your contacts, a small pop-up window appears on your chosen corner of the screen showing the most recent message and a space for you to reply. After replying the window disappears allowing you to continue whatever you were doing without switching windows. It also uses less memory than TweetDeck.

The only thing lacking is also the absence of notifications of new comments on your Facebook posts. This is a feature which I really think will be the deal breaker among the social networks clients because this is the only thing that brings me back to the website. Mac compatibility of Digsby is still upcoming so I'm still using TweetDeck on the Mac.

digsby 2


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