Friday, January 29, 2010

Say What You Mean

from a post on one of the blogs I follow:

"...I like reading newbies - they are less presumptuous. For new bloggers, continue writing. Write what you think. Say what you need. Mean what you say. In the meantime, I will follow what I preach."

It hit home. I've known for quite a while that I don't really blog exactly what I'm thinking nor do I write exactly what I want to. There have been several times when I catch myself trying to make things vague or a bit blurred so to speak.

Blogging has become exactly like the real world.

Wish I could just let it all out without filtering my words or censoring myself.

Maybe my blog has been loosing its identity. I don't think it can live up to its name anymore. I guess in 2008 I was able to pretty much tell things about myself as is but in 2009, it wasn't the same. I haven't even been able to talk about my relationships.

But I have to consider also that blogging, just like talking is my way of letting out steam. Yeh, when I have problems, I need to talk. No advice needed, I just need to rant and rant and then I'm good :D

When things are going acceptably, that's when I have to try harder to blog and even then it's usually about light stuff and things that aren't really personal. I have to change that but first I really have to come up with things I want to blog about :D

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project 52: #3 - Great Ball of Fire

the other monday, as if it being a Monday wasn't enough, it was drizzling and the sky was overcast. Apparently, the combination of thick clouds and the sun makes for great sunsets.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Am I Anti-Social?

I don't think I'm anti-social and I don’t think that I’m a loner either but somehow spending time with many friends at a party, dinner, or just a get together always leaves me exhausted. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy going out with friends. I do, and that makes it even harder to explain why the feeling of exhaustion afterwards to the point that I minimize the times I go out just because of that.

Do you sometimes feel the same way?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cruises to Haiti Ethical?

Issues have been raised about certain cruise lines continuing trip stops at areas in Haiti unaffected by the earthquake but near the affected area where thousands of people already have died.

This article in CNN presents the sides of those against the cruise stops as well as the defense of the Company that operates the cruise.

To what extent are we, as moral beings, supposed to share in the sufferings of others? Are we even obligated to? Is it wrong to enjoy what we have worked for while others are suffering? What if we've donated something in cash or kind already - can we then enjoy what we have without guilt?

Isn't this a case of "misery loves demands company"?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Project 52: #2 Transformers

I almost had no pictures for the 2nd week of 2010 and I really didn't want to take pictures just for the sake of being able to post 1. Anyway this picture was supposed to be a night shot of the sign of a shopping area but when I was reviewing the picture, there seems to be something like a robot on top of that red truck :D

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Apparition in Baclayon Church

Our family spent the Christmas of 2008 in the island of Bohol, a province south of Metro Manila, in the Visayas region. The place is well-known because of the Chocolate Hills, considered one of the wonders of the world and also for it’s beaches.

Bohol also has some of the oldest churches in the Philippines. One of them, The Church of Immaculada Concepcion in Baclayon, is said to be the 2nd oldest stone church in the Philippines. It is said that millions of egg whites were used as cement in building this church.

There is a museum within the compound of the church which houses very old relics. Unfortunately cameras were not allowed in the museum and I didn’t really find myself interested in the dusty old things :D

The inside of the church was interesting. I’m not Catholic so I haven’t really been to many of their churches. I was impressed with the interior of the church and part of the ceiling.

This next picture is of the facade of the church.

Did you see the apparition? I didn’t see it at first but while looking through the LCD screen of my camera, I noticed that the pattern of the weather-worn pillars of the church seemed to form a face.

I felt a bit uneasy but also doubtful but I mentioned it to my companions. It was then that our tour guide/driver overheard and mentioned that the ‘image’ gradually appeared over the past couple of years and was said to be very similar to that of Father Pio, an Italian missionary who became a saint.

Well, I’m not superstitious but the stains on the pillar really looks like a face and it really has some similarity to the portrait of St. Pio.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Puppy Eyes

Monday, January 11, 2010

. . .

Here I go again. I seem to be slipping back into a blank state. Can't think of anything to blog about. I guess that's not unexpected since everything is so routine (complaining again) but seriously, it's not bad but the way things are going, there's nothing I can think of that I would like to share with the world. I don't even know what to post on Facebook or Twitter.

2010 is starting off bland.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Project 52: #1

This 2010, Jae and Dale started their PROJECT 365 which means they'll be posting the best picture they took that day, everyday for the whole year. Taking several pictures on one day and posting them for other days is not allowed. Premise is if you take pictures often you get to learn how to take great pictures through practice (which really works).

I want to start my own Project 365 but maybe it'll be Project 52 instead - 1 picture/week since I don’t get to go out much. I really want to learn taking better portrait shots but somehow I'm shy approaching people and I prefer stolen shots. I hope I get through 1 month :p

Anyway here’s 1/52: Liquidity


Friday, January 8, 2010

Meditational Music

I've always had a bit of obssessive-compulsiveness in my personality. Not as bad as before but once in a while it shows up. Mostly it's thoughts that keep on replaying in my head - the "what ifs" of something I have to make a decision about. Then it's usually followed by a headache because of too many thoughts running about in my head and the chaos that results.

I had one such episode today. I was thinking about my character in the role playing game Dragon Age. Yup, a computer game. Somehow the choices of what attributes to focus on, spells to use, weapons and armor to wear, companions to choose gave me a headache :D I wasn't even playing since I was at work, I was just thinking about my ongoing game. Pretty soon I had a headache.

My previous post about OmmWriter, a software that tried to provide a relaxing environment to allow writers and bloggers to focus on what they were writing about came to mind. Maybe the music included in the program would allow me to relax since it was supposed to be meditational music. I didn't think so, but I started the program and put earphones on.

Immediately the thoughts in my mind were just gone and the headache vanished. There was order. Somehow the music was the only thing I could focus on and it brought quiet to my mind. *wondering* So that is how meditational music works.

Now my compulsiveness is clicking in and I have several megabytes of Zen music waiting in queue to be downloaded - for those times when I can't hear because of the chaos of my thoughts.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sand, Sea, Sky, Sail

Taken at Boracay on December 2009

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Distraction-Free Blogging

Do you love to blog but often have difficulty thinking of what to write about? Then you're like me. Often when an idea comes along, I'm not in front of a computer. Or maybe you're the spur-of-the-moment type (also like me) that even if you manage to jot down or type a draft of your post, once you get in from of a computer, you get 2nd thoughts about posting it.

It's nice to see that programmers know about these roadblocks and have made software that motivates focusing on getting ideas onto blogs. I've come across 2 such programs. Both are for Mac OSX but I'm sure there are some for Windows and Linux as well.

The first one I've tried is WriteRoom. It's premise is simple. It give you a complete blank black screen and a blinking rectangular cursor like those of the extinct DOS operating system. Text is colored green (customizable) and there's nothing else on the screen to distract you.

VERDICT: WriteRoom was a bit effective. Somehow starting a blank black screen and a blinking cursor made the obsessive-compulsive part of me want to fill it up with something.

The second one I got to try was Ommwriter. I think the developers got the idea from a spa - mixing relaxing visuals with soothing music. This time the default screen is a snowscape one with added ambient music in the background. There are also sounds for each typed character - something like waterdrops producing a meditational effect for writing.

VERDICT: I found OmmWriter a lot better than WriteRoom. Using earphones, noise from the outside and even from my head seem to lessened and I can focus only on my post. I'd like more choices of background since I prefer the dark background of WriteRoom. But overall, OmmWriter makes it easier for me to focus on what I'm writing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fireworks and the New Year

Over here, it is a tradition of many families to buy their own fireworks/firecrackers and light them up on New Year’s Eve. Unlike other countries where there are certain places that are designated for  firework’s displays, here everyone makes their own show. You have to see it to understand :D

The intensity of fireworks here in Metro Manila on New Year’s Eve is a pretty good gauge of how the year went. The worse the year was, the more intense the fireworks. While the duration - how many minutes or hours before midnight the fireworks start - reflect the state of the economy.

Based on last night’s fireworks, it’s obvious that 2009 was a bad year for most. You could almost feel the determination and impatience of the people to put 2009 behind by blowing it up with fireworks :D

Usually, about 2 hours before midnight, there were already lots of fireworks and firecrackers, but this time, it was relatively quiet up until 30 minutes to midnight, and then everything erupted. Just goes to show that there really wasn’t that much extra money to buy them so people were reserving using their fireworks and firecrackers until close to midnight... and then they let it all go.

If you think about it, December 31 - January 1 is just another day. Nothing will change overnight. But it gives us hope that it will be better this time around. Just as the sunset signals the end of the day and a promise of another sunrise - another beginning - the start of the New Year somehow gives us the motivation to try to start anew, the drive to improve,  and courage to change.

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

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