Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Missing Someone On Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Someone even had a countdown displayed on his blog site. Starting the first day of February, everyone else’s activities would be geared towards a romantic mood.

Good if you have someone with you to hold hands with, or to hug and to kiss, or to have that candle-lighted dinner surrounded with a wonderful ambience. Maybe it would be an opportunity for you to ask the girl you pursue to a valentine’s date. Or you can just be subtle by suggesting a group date. So many valentines idea can pop up in one’s head when one is in love.

But what if that someone is far away? Can you just whisper in the wind and hope that by thru telepathic means he or she would hear you say, “I miss you and I love you”? Say it through a phone call, write a long letter, or do whatever means to get the message across and send it straight to the heart.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cool, Cool Rain

Tagged by AJ. This meme is an innovation of his.

The Rules:

No. 1: Find out What Type of Weather Are You by taking the quiz on blogthings.

You Are Rain

You can be warm and sexy. Or cold and unwelcoming.

Either way, you slowly bring out the beauty around you.

You are best known for: your touch

Your dominant state: changing

No. 2: Contradict/Consent the Outcome

The warm and sexy thing is a boost. he he. But I want to be a lightning wherein everyone else stops lest I unleash my powers. I want a cool sunshine, not a warm one. I dream of winter and playing in the snow.
No. 3: Share a practical Weather Tip

Stay away from rivers when it rains so hard. You know those killer flash floods.

No. 4 :...and a life-giving Weather Quote

“It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.”

No. 5: Tag 5 + weathered (seasoned) bloggers.

Ghee, Gypsy, Mitch, Jho, and BVince - Tell us your weather personalities guys!

The Art of Self Defense

I am an avid fan of Asian martial arts movie. I love watching those death-defying stunts and lighting-quick moves of Jet Li, those comical fighting scenes of Jackie Chan, and those fast close combat moves of Steven Seagal. They’re actors alright, and we all know those scenes are choreographed to entertain us.

But what are we to do when faced and cornered by bullies or those gangs wanting a street fight? Run? Or maybe escape like those stealth ninjas? Is your chest blade-proof and your skull bullet-proof?

You might say that you have a black belt in karate or in other martial arts. Captain Chris Pizzo also had those, even boasting of medals and trophies in combat sports. But when faced with a real deadly situation, his outlook on self defense changed. In his website, he offers information regarding the truth about martial arts, self defense and street fighting. These are very helpful tool to protect yourself and your loved ones.

You can also take a no-obligation "test drive" of his award winning Close Combat Training system absolutely free, brought to you from the world leader in self defense.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Oh Hair, Where Is Thy Beauty?

Some of the bosses in our office kid themselves about their receding hairlines. “Sign of wisdom” one said. “No, it’s stress” said another. Then someone began narrating funny myths about hair loss.

A childhood friend who has a family history of baldness sported long hair when he was a teenager. “I know I’ll lose my hair someday. I’ll enjoy it while I still can” he once said. Now, I learned that he’s slowly losing his hair.

Those who are experiencing hair fall often panic. Hair loss treatment ads are almost everywhere. A shampoo for horses is even advertised to prevent hair loss. But what can you do when you are genetically prone to hair loss and balding?

The most effective and affordable hair loss treatment is a permanent hair transplant performed by an experienced and skilled surgeon. Meet Dr. Shapiro and he can help you restore your hair. You can also meet actual patients and see results for yourself. There is also a video on his website for you to watch.

No, you don’t have to accept balding as a fashion statement, even though it’s not something to be ashamed of. But you can have that great looking hair you want thru hair transplant.

The Joker Runs Over The Fed Express

It should have been the other way around. 7-5 6-3 7-6 rampage against the defending champion and world no. 1, is totally out-of-this-world.

Fence and I were sitting on wedding reception of a college friend when he was itching to leave his seat and watch the Roger-Novak Australian Open semi-final match at the hotel bar lounge.

"First set, Novak" he said.

"He'll bounce back" I assured him.

"I'll be drunk if Rog loses" he said.

A few minutes later, he went out then returned with shoulders down. "Novak second set".

Then after dinner he excused himself again. "Fed leads 4-3".

All of us were enjoying our friend's big day, but Novak "the Joker" Djokovic left my friend broken-hearted. "Can he turn things around?" I asked.

We all know the rest of the story. There won't be a Roger-Rafa showdown this time. New faces are emerging in this year's Grand Slam Tennis opener. I'm turning into a Joker convert. (You should know that I'm not talking about the Batman movie here)

But I'm not sure if my friend got drunk last night. He might delay the ritual when he returns to Manila tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Saving On Office Supplies, Furniture and Equipment

Doing accounting jobs requires a lot of paperwork. That means we consume paper, ink, pens, staple wires, and other office supplies at rates faster than anyone else. Then we also need file cabinets to store documents. Setting up an accounting office, or even just a cubicle for a finance guy is no easy thing. Don’t expect clear desks and barren rooms. Mine is a jungle.

Office supplies expense is a major component of the overall expenses of many business establishments. Think about a hundred bucks a month for one office worker, then multiply that to the total number of employees. That is why plenty of companies institute cost-cutting measures. They also procure from sources that offer the best deals.

There is an online site that helps consumers save on office supplies’, furniture and equipment costs. OfficeDeals.info is the complete source for Office Depot coupons, Office Max coupons, Vista Print coupons, Staples coupon codes, and coupons from other online stores. They discount office products they sell if you have those coupons.

Isn’t this a great way to save? They don’t just supply for businesses. They have things for home office furniture too like those ergonomic chairs, desks, computer tables, and the desktop computer that you need. Those who want to work from home can really benefit from this.

Who Is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga?

In a post yesterday, I was assuming a Roger-Rafa final in the Australian open. Boring that would be, but that would have been the case if not for some miracle. Well, not really a miracle. It's a massacre. Tsonga fried Nadal in three straight sets. And the game was not even close.

With Nadal out of the picture, whoever Tsonga faces next should be in for a surprise. I still have no clear idea about who Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is. All I know is that, he broke the hearts of the many Rafa fans. I hope he won't break Fed's fans soon.

Bad, Bad Credit

In good times, credit card and loan companies easily attracts plenty of takers. They call you and offer you this and that. Some people just find it easy to flaunt their plastics in making payments at grocery shops and shopping malls. Credit approvals are fast and easy. But comes payment time, or when financial crisis is on their necks, the debtors have to dig deep.

And when one is in the mire, it would be difficult to come out of it. Indeed, there are plenty who have bad credit standings, and most don’t know how to go about it. But there is a free online resource that compiles information about the best bad credit loans opportunities available.

BadCreditOffers is dedicated to provide consumers, regardless of a bad credit history, with the knowledge and resources to help them find the best credit offers and rebuild their credit standings. It could be credit cards, home loans, car loans and personal loans. Plus, one can apply online instantly.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Those Tennis Beauties

The Australian Open is getting exciting these days. It’s an all-European semis for both the Men and the Ladies. I wonder what their diet is. They seem to have tennis running in their veins.

I will not be talking about the Roger-Rafa match-up coz Novak and the unseeded Tsonga (who’s he?) might spoil their reunion. I will be focusing on the beautiful side of tennis; those long-legged beauties on the court. Perhaps the most recognizable face and figure today belong to Maria Sharapova. She displayed court power and finesse when she eliminated the world no. 1 Justine Henin.

But there is another glamour girl who barged into the semis. She’s none other than Daniela Hantuchova. She got her first recognition in 2002 when she landed at the top 8, and got the attention of sports and fashion photographers. Now at 24, she might be the oldest at her first Grand Slam semis, but she’s got power and that sweet face that can take the trophy and the limelight from the other players.

(photo from http://www.dhantuchova.com/foto.php)

Consider me a fan. Go, Daniela!

Do You Want Your Own Website?

In my almost 2 years of blogging, I noticed changes in some of my friends’ web addresses. They now have websites they can call their own. And most of them are obviously reaping the benefits.

Do you also want to have domain of your own and want more information on the web host that fits your need and your budget? Web Hosting Choice is an advertisement-free online resource that will guide you in your web hosting needs. They have a page for beginners wherein you are introduced to the basics of having a website. They have a directory too for the various web hosting companies and the plans they are selling.

The information in their site would certainly be a big help in your plans of having your own website whether it be for business or personal use.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sunrise In Cagayan

Witnessing a lovely sunrise is a rare thing for me. I usually wake up late, when everyone else has timed-in for work. This time around, in a boat from Cebu to Cagayan, I woke up very early because of the noise of the people around me, not to mention the loud snore of the guy on the lower deck.

I washed myself, drank coffee, and climbed on the vessel's sundeck. The sun had just risen on the left side of the boat, so I picked up my cel and took a picture. I know the picturesque sight would be gone in a few minutes. The sight became lovelier a few seconds after I took the picture above. But I ran out of batteries. All I could do was let out sigh, but still thankful for the beautiful sunrise.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Taste For Wines

The father of a friend has this mini-bar at their rest house. I was really amazed at his variety of local and imported collection of wines and alcoholic beverages. Our friend says that his father is fond of collecting these but most of the time, he drinks alone. Though there are times when he asks his few friends to come over and drink with him. He added that these are mostly for display.

I don’t necessarily drink alcoholic beverages but I love the sweet taste of red wine. For me, it’s like drinking grape juice with a sting on the tongue and the throat. When I receive a bottle of wine on special occasions, I’d usually consume it for myself. So that means that I only consume 5-7 bottles a year. I don’t remember tasting white wine, and even if I did, I could not remember its taste.

Tastvine.com is a wine site that helps you discover your taste for wines. They can make personal recommendations and match your taste with the specific wine. You can also read reviews and purchase wines online.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

TV Ratings War Gone Wild: GMA vs ABS-CBN

Since survey results are muddled (that is according to the publicized allegations of the warring parties), let me make my own survey here. But I have to disclose my own personal bias. It’s GMA7 that has the better signal at home because we cut the cable TV subscription months ago. I felt bad when Angel Locsin transferred to the other network, but she is still a beauty to behold. I’m not exactly a fan of Juday, even during her Mara Clara days, but I do admit that she’s an excellent dramatic actress. I am forced to watch Ysabella when the commander takes control of the TV remote. Despite the adjustments on the antenna, the reception is still so-so. Ok, let’s blame my bias on the TV signal.

Maybe by now you have seen both stations’ efforts in pressing their claims and/or warding off allegations. Blogs have been written about it, and maybe it’s time to grab some of their readers. I admit that at times, it’s getting to be annoying.

But for traffic’s sake, let’s have some fun and a little survey. This is not in anyway sponsored by any entity and don’t throw grenades at me if you dislike the results. Vote once a day over the weekend. I’ll close the voting Monday noon and let’s move on afterwards. New shows at primetime for both networks will commence on Monday. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Free polls from Pollhost.com
Which Philippine TV Station Has Better, Innovative, Informative and Entertaining Shows?
ABS-CBN GMA Other Networks I don't care!!!   

Selling Online

Creating an online store is part of my medium-range plan aside from the goal of owning my own domain, which I think I should purchase within this quarter. I’ve been toying with these ideas since last quarter of 2007, but it has not yet reached to the point of obsession or conclusion.

I believe in the future of ecommerce. A friend and I exchanged ideas about the matter but he still prefers the traditional one. “I’ll sell your products online. Give me your best price” I told him. “Sure” he replied.

For a start, a small online business would be appropriate. Then add an innovative ecommerce software to it, like the Ashop commerce shopping cart software. It has world-class features and easy to set up. You don’t need extensive experience to set up your software. Free technical support is readily available. Ashop Commerce, a leading provider of ecommerce solutions, offers a complete package for one to sell online.

Those Beautiful Lamps In The Table

I can say that our house is well lighted but we don’t have any decorative lamps. Maybe except for the series lights we put up during Christmas. I remember three years ago, we planned to buy a lamp shade for our room, but until now, we have not made the move.

There were days when we sat down together in our living room and imagined we have lamps and lampshades like those aunt have in her house. I think aunt has this penchant for lamps. One of the table lamps I found in her house looks like that nice-looking lamp in the picture above. The soft light it gives relaxes me everytime I sit on the sofa near it.

At Farreys.com, they have a wide range of lamps including table lamps, floor lamps, lamp shades, reading lamps and torchieres. Visitors may shop conveniently in their site, having dozens of manufacturers and great-value prices. They also have this product search tool that helps you find the perfect lamp that you need.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Online Money

50 days after announcing that I crossed over, my paypal breached the $100 mark. The first time I bumped into dotcom mogul John Chow's site a month ago, he mentioned celebrating some milestones in one's problogging career. So, after seeing the email that I got paid, I told my wife that we're going to celebrate.

She asked me why, but I just smiled and did not give an immediate answer. "Wait until we're seated in a restaurant table" I told her.

After our orders were set in the table, I told her about my problogging milestone. "Is that it?" she naughtily asked, withholding her delight.

"That's about P4,070 at present exchange rate" I said. Then we laughed. "Honestly, I still don't know how to withdraw it" I added.

Recalling the opps (mostly gambling) that I intentionally skipped, that could have summed up to more or less another hundred bucks. But no regrets in anyway. I blog only for the topics I like, and which can add value to the readers.

High Five Meme

I was tagged by Des a day after New Year!

5 Things Found in my Bag

The bag I usually carry is my laptop bag

1. laptop
2. checkstub
3. crumpled paper
4. ballpen
5. keys

5 things found in my wallet

1. Money
2. Credit Cards
3. Receipts
4. Calling Cards
5. Pictures of me and my wife

5 things I found in my room

1. Mattress
2. Clock
3. Table
4. Clothes
5. Magazines

5 things I’ve always wanted to do

1. Travel to great vacation places
2. Buy a DSLR camera
3. Own a farm
4. Learn two new languages
5. Work abroad

5 things I’m currently into

1. Working
2. Typing this entry
3. Sipping coffee
4. Surfing the net
5. Budgetting

5 people to tag for this meme

1. Gladita
2. Mitch
3. CM
4. Bingskee
5. Daisy

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cebu: Sinulog 2008 and Sidetrip Recommendations

Are you going to Cebu for the Sinulog celebrations? Be sure you have already booked your flights in and out, and hotels reserved. There will be hundreds of thousands of visitors on Sinulog weekend. It won’t be easy getting rooms if you walk-in at the hotels. The motels may be full too. But once you’re here and got your hotel reservations, you don’t have to fear. You can get lost in the crowd and still find your way back. Two thousand policemen are deployed to maintain peace and order.

Below is the procession route (the circle on the top left is Fuente OsmeƱa):

I won’t be seeing any of these. I haven’t seen the street parade since my ROTC days back in 1992 when we were forced to cordon the streets for the dancers. To join the revelry is not in line with my religious convictions. I’d be somewhere out, away from the crowd.

Just some safety tips:
1. Watch for your belongings. Despite efforts of the local government to keep the known thieves in jail for the weekend, there are out-of-towners.
2. Avoid the gangs. There had been frat brawls in the past. Stay away from their hangouts.
3. Stay fit and bring bottled water with you. There will be long walks. At the end of the day, you may find yourself fatigued and dehydrated.

These are some other places (sidetrips) that you can go to after the weekend’s festivities:
1. Beaches in the north of Cebu (San Remigio)
2. Bohol – a 2-hr fast craft ride way.
3. Beaches in Mactan (Shangri-la, Plantation Bay, Hilton, Maribago Blue Waters, etc…)
4. Bantayan Island (2 hrs by bus, 1 hr by boat.)
5. Camotes Island
6. Malapascua Island

To those who will go to Cebu for the first time: Enjoy and make most of your time in one of Asia’s Best Cities.

Broken Frames

I broke my eyeglass frame a year and a half ago. I rolled into it while sleeping at the floor mattress. I did not know how it got there. I remembered I safely stored it somewhere. Or maybe I was already dreaming at that time, thinking that my glasses were safely kept. Good thing the lens did not break, but I had a badminton tournament scheduled the next day. I needed a quick fix. A repairman from downtown got it fixed, faster than I thought And I’m still using the same broken frame now.

But I’m really planning to buy new glasses. This one’s a great discovry: $ 8 Prescription Glasses From Zenni Optical. That’s cheap! They manufacture their own and no middlemen to jack up the prices. They have a huge selection of frames available online.

Sports: Starting Them Young

I am a sports-loving person. I learned how to play chess at age 5; swimming, biking, badminton, darts and basketball at age 9; volleyball, soccer and softball at age 11 and; tennis and ping pong at age 13. I can still remember my very wet shirts and uniforms because of these games I played at school. I could no longer count the many times I was scolded by my parents because I arrived home late. It’s difficult to resist my classmates when they asked me to join them in their basketball games.

Now at 32, I have my own collections of badminton medals and trophies. The last one I received middle of last year. But I am now on a downhill on this particular sport. I retired from basketball and volleyball when I started wearing glasses four years ago. The last time, I passed the ball to the opponent. I am no longer as quick as before when playing pingpong. In fact, I already found it hard to hit the ball, hitting shadows instead. I have not played real softball and soccer after high school. I still play chess but very erratic in my moves.

But I encourage kids to engage in sports. Start them young, so they say. Joining team sports can improve team work and instill discipline among them. And one way of encouraging them is to buy the equipment and play with these kids. At Shopwiki, they have available memorabilia and equipment for team and individual sports. I bought sports equipment in the past as gifts to some of my godchildren. Now, I am looking forward to buy a softball bat, ball and mitts to introduce the sport to the kids at church. Softball is something new to them.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Purging The Blogroll

I hate to do this but I have to purge the blogroll of Leftover Thoughts.

So, how do I begin to tell the story of how love ends with the links? First I’ll check the sites I linked to and see if they linked back to me. Unless they are superstars (my definition), or write like my favorite authors, without my link in their site, their links from this blog are the first to go. Sorry folks!

Some of those in my blogroll have not updated their blogs for more than half a year. I am not even sure what happened to them. Are they still on this planet? But I do hope and pray that they’re alright and not watching from the stars above. Those without updates for the last six months are the next to go. If they transferred sites, they should have at least left a message telling their fans that they packed up and migrated somewhere. A quarter could be tolerable but half year is too long. There are few sites that I'll exempt here.

The purging will start today and ends Wednesday. There will be rooms for new links then.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Save On Ink

We got a lot of inkjet printers here in our office. Sometimes, when we are not careful in our ink usage like unauthorized printing of colored pictures or failing to print in draft mode for inter-office use, our expenses will surely exceed the budget. And this raises the eyebrows of those on top when they examine and scrutinize the monthly expenses as against the budget.

Do you know how much an ink cartridge for inkjet printer costs? It isn’t cheap. That is why some offices still utilizes the dot matrix printers, despite the inferior print quality.

But there are other ways to save ink on inkjets. First is to institute a more efficient paperless filing system. But you really need to have hard copies of the very important documents. Second is to put in place cost-cutting measures like setting as default the “print in draft mode” and using only black ink. Third, and which I think is most important, is to buy from cheap sources.

At InkjetDeals.info, they list online stores that sell ink cartridges and laser toners for large discounts. The site also lists coupon codes and discount promotions from these stores so that the buyer can even save more. They have pages on major printer brands too: Cannon, HP, Epson, Brother, Dell and Lexmark.

Cut down on printer ink expenses now.

I Want It Brewed

Some think that I’m a heavy coffee drinker because they always see a cup of coffee on top of my desk. But it’s not true. I only drink 2-3 cups a day, which is just the average for coffee drinkers. I must admit that I love to drink coffee and that I prefer some brands over the other, if available. And I prefer brewed coffee over the instant ones.

I remembered one time at our Manila office when I was offered coffee by the secretary, she asked, “Brewed or instant?”

Surprised, I quickly asked, ‘You have brewed coffee here?’ Sensing my curiosity, the secretary showed me their coffee maker, which she said was imported. “This must be expensive!” I said. The secretary just nodded.

Bunn Coffee Maker is one of the best coffee makers in the world. If you want to buy a new coffee maker, check out reviews and opinion of their best valued products. I’m already thinking of replacing my old unit back home.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Finding The “Right One” In The Internet World

An aunt (cousin of my father) came to our house one day and sought help from my Dad. She claimed that a drug-crazy neighbor raped her. Not just once, but many times. “Was it really rape? Why was it repeated?” my dad asked. Despite the tears, she managed to giggle when asked about the repetition. “A willing victim” I thought. But I just kept it to myself so as not to interrupt the drama.

She told us of her predicament: How to tell her parents that she’s pregnant as result of the rape. She refused to file a suit against the perpetrator. Funny she even vowed never to fall in love with a fellow Pinoy again. My dad gave her comforting words of advice and helped her talk to her parents. Her parents, upon hearing the news of her pregnancy, were overjoyed. They did not even mind that she was raped and that the child will grow up without a father. It’s their first grandchild and that was all that mattered.

After years of raising the child alone, and most of the time, leaving the kid to her parents, she enlisted herself in the many online dating sites with internet matchmaking service. One email from a guy in New York changed the course of her destiny. She’s now happily married and her lovable kid adopted by her husband. They are now living in New York.

The above is a true story of how singles can meet up online with another person in another part of the world. 5 Star Dating.com have compiled a complete list of the best internet dating services and matchmaking web sites for everyone to try. If you want a Christian date, they also have a list of the sites offering avenues for single Christians to meet. Or maybe you just want online matchmaking and see if there is really chemistry. They have a list of that too.

But who knows? The right one could be that person you know offline but taken for granted because of your search online. The time to love is short, my friends.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Poem From A Hopeless Romantic

Funny I found my notebook containing poems I wrote between 1995 and 2000.

Here’s one untitled poem from a hopeless romantic.

We spoke in tongues
Yet I did not hear love
Mouthed in whatever words
Comprehensible to the heart.

Your reluctant smile did not mean at all
So our feelings never met,
And with your eyes staring at the floor,
You whispered “Can we still be friends?”

But I walked away,
Under the starry but moonless night
Whistling hollow tunes to the wind,
Shrugging aside the friendship we once had.

Deleted Files

What if, after working long hours on payroll, the payroll clerk accidentally deleted the entire computer file a day before payday?

It’s actually one of the worst fears of management, and even to the person handling it. It would not be a problem if there are only a few employees. But what if you have hundreds or thousands of them? The affected personnel may complain (or even wage a strike) against management. They certainly don’t want a delay of their salary even for just a day.

Part of the every company’s contingency plan is risks management. File back-ups and physical security are considered, even the plans to recover deleted files. File-saver is a useful tool to aid persons and companies wanting to recover their deleted files. Check out http://www.file-saver.com/ now.

Dream European Destinations

I have never been outside the country. It’s one of my unrealized dreams. But I am slowly familiarizing myself with some countries and cities just by reading books and surfing the internet.

When I was in elementary, I was hugging the world atlas almost daily for a couple of months, memorizing the capital cities of all countries in Europe, Asia, North America, and most of Africa and South America. But the European boundaries changed after the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of USSR. I didn’t quite make any effort to update since then. But my European dream destinations remain the same: London, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Venice.

I don’t really have to worry about hotel accommodations. It is easy to book. Websites like EasytoBook.com offers large discounts and they even list down the different accommodations and the respective prices of the various hotels in my dream cities. My worries are my travel documents and of course, money. But for now, I’d just settle for dreams. It’s free.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tough Defense Lawyers

One is presumed innocent until proven guilty, whatever the case may be. But it is better that you have tough lawyers on your side.

Take for example the cases of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Both were arrested of DUI (driving under influence) many months ago. They spent some time in jail alright but the penalty was very light. I credit that on the work of their attorneys.

In Southern California, Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP lawyers have over 50 years courtroom experience and specialize in all criminal and DUI matters. With them, clients can be confident that they have hired a knowledgeable, reputable, tough and tenacious legal team that will exert every effort into helping them avoid a criminal conviction and keep them out of custody.

But the best policy is to keep away from trouble.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys | California DUI Felony Misdemeanor Lawyers

Republicans vs Democrats

The basic difference between the two is that Democrats follow a liberal philosophy and Republicans follow a conservative philosophy. Example of these differences are: 1) Abortion, Democrats – Yes, Republicans – No 2) Gay Weddings, Democrats – Yes, Republicans – No 3) Prayer at Schools , Democrats – No, Republicans – Yes 4) Death Penalty, Democrats – No, Republicans - Yes 5) Minimum Wage, Democrats – Yes, Republicans – No, and the list goes on an on.

But it’s the Democrats that get most of the headlines these days. For us in the Far East, we get the impression that it’s Hillary Clinton vs Barack Obama. Both are democrats, but only one will go on to become the party standard-bearer. I don’t even know much about the other side of the fence. President Bush seems to get all the attention. I first got a quick glance at the name of Gov. Mike Hukabee, the former Baptist Minister who turned politician, when news came out at the Iowa caucus that he leads the Republicans.

The American party system is very different from the Philippine system. There is no party loyalty among our local politicians. I don’t even think they know their party’s platform of governance.

But if you were to join American politics, which between the two parties would you choose? Maybe I’d follow Mr. Universe (now California Governor) Arnold Schwarzenegger. He once said to a friend, "What party is he?" (referring to Nixon). The friend replied, "He's a Republican." Then Arnold said, "Then I am a Republican." And he has been a Republican ever since. Honestly, I don’t understand the logic of his statement. But I am still for the conservatives' philosophy.

Need Sleep?

I never had sleeping disorders. I can doze off in minutes, even with a loud noise nearby. Sleepless nights are very rare for me, unless I really decide to stay awake like doing reports needed the next day, or waiting for an early morning flight.

But I heard of people who can’t sleep at night. One is a cousin who stays up all night chatting on the internet. She claims to be an insomniac even taking some pills on certain days to help her relax and sleep. Another friend just watches TV whole night until she gets to sleep around 5am and wakes up again at 8am. Both really need insomnia help.

At this site, http://www.sleep-deprivation-cd.com/, Mr. Bradley Thompson claims that he can scientifically cure your sleep deprivation by offering CD recordings with binaural beats. When listening to his CDs, one gets into a deep state of relaxation and then doze off in minutes. His website has a list of testimonies from satisfied customers. Right now, he is even offering big discounts and free shipping to international buyers. Money can buy sleep these days.

With a really good night sleep, you can wake up so alive and refreshed.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The ProBlogging Experience

These are the 25 things I learned in my first 40 days as a semi-problogger.

  1. Blogging on your own dotcom is better than on a free site. Opportunities are reduced 4x when on a free site. I still have to find out why.
  2. You need to have at least a 90-day old blog with no less than 20 posts, indexed by search engines and with regular updates.
  3. The more blogs you have, the better. It multiplies your earning potential.
  4. It’s not easy maintaining multiple blogs. You’ll run out of juice in the long run.
  5. PR matters: Those with nil are given fewer opportunities, and lesser payout.
  6. The higher the PR, the more the opportunities, and the bigger pay.
  7. Google swoops down the PR of those with too much sponsored post. Money or PR?
  8. You begin to worry about your own PR. Ghee and Javi expressed their concerns about my PR.
  9. Location matters. North American and European bloggers have more opportunities. It is advertisers’ preference though. We can’t do anything about it.
  10. Those with high traffic blogs can earn more with google adsense than doing sponsored posts.
  11. After 45 days with adsense, I still have a little over $1. I don’t have a quick-fix solution. I don’t know how others got hundreds.
  12. My first 8 posts in smorty gave me $76.40. They approve posts in 5 days and pays out weekly. The fastest so far.
  13. Some sites offering paid posts snub you. Or they just don’t approve your site immediately.
  14. You have to regularly log in to the opportunity sites in order not to miss out on some writing tasks.
  15. Some of the opps are just like bubbles. They appear and disappear before you even touch them.
  16. Blogging becomes a chore when it comes to some of the paid posts.
  17. You tend to skip reading the sponsored posts of your blogfriends, even failing to notice the more important ones. My apologies for falling into this. But there are those that are really good at concealing the ads.
  18. You fear you might have lost some of your readers because of the paid posts.
  19. Blogging for money is not on my original list on “Why do I blog”. Still, money is not my reason for blogging.
  20. You don’t love some of the opportunities presented.
  21. You love to blog about some opportunities you don’t qualify.
  22. You’ve got to have a paypal account.
  23. The good thing about paypal is -- registration is free.
  24. You get excited seeing the first few dollars in your paypal account.
  25. The bad thing is – you can’t withdraw it on any RP banks (except Union Bank). I’ll have to wait a little longer.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Holed In

It’s still the 4th of January and I am now on my 7th post for the year. What’s my hurry? The last two months I’ve been flooding this site with entries. I realized I really have to slow down, pause and catch my breath for a minute. There is really no hurry in writing blog posts. Those opps may not wait, but I don’t necessarily have to grab each of them. I’m taking this semi-problogging thing in stride.

Today and in the coming couple of weeks, I will be finalizing company budgets and it will mean that I’d be very very busy. None of the badminton games despite the many invites that I received. Perhaps I’ll be working again till midnight at the office or at home. There would be less of the paid entries too, as these take away my concentration. Advertisers don’t deserve haphazard posts.

But I’d write personal thoughts every now and then. You know those thoughts (attractive or whatever) that suddenly pops in your mind and won’t let go until you type it down. It’s something that’s difficult to part with despite the busyness

The Australian Temptation

Six of my ex-colleagues now live in Australia. Four of my wife’s cousins happily reside there too. They speak wonderfully about the place and even invited us to try our luck at this thinly populated continent. The idea is really very attractive.

But what attracts me most every time I see pictures of Australia are the sites at the Gold Coast: The blue skylines, theme parks, the beachgoers, surfers and the long shore lines. I can imagine myself trying at a surf board or just lying flat on the beach. The hotels in Gold Coast seem like a stone-throw away from the sea. I can imagine exhilarating views of the ocean, the sunrise and the horizon.

Within Gold Coast is Surfers Paradise. It’s not only the surfers that go there, but also the tourists. One should not miss out this beautiful place. There are enough hotels in Surfers Paradise and it is not difficult finding an affordable one.

And if one is planning to visit South Australia, tasting the produce of local wineries, or just exploring what the place offers, finding hotels in Adelaide is not a problem. Check out Cheaperthanhotels for cheaper and great-value accommodations in Australia and in many parts of the world.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Not In Good Standing

Robert Frost once said that, “A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.”

There is actually truth to it when it comes to someone who once had plenty, and then suddenly went deep into financial trouble. But there is still hope for those with bad credit standings. BadCreditOffers is a free online resource dedicated to help those with struggling credit ratings. They have staff who continuously monitor the credit marketplace and compile the best bad credit loans offers available.

Take for example the credit cards. They have a list of those banks offering the best deals and who can help you back on your feet by, aside from quick and easy approval, featuring monthly reporting to credit bureaus which could lead to restoring your positive credit standing.

BadCreditOffers main goal is really to provide consumers with the knowledge and resources to help them find the best credit offers, whether it is of credit cards, home loans, car loans and personal loans, regardless of a bad credit history.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

An Alternative To Medical Insurance

Most of us know how a medical insurance works. You pay a premium, and when you are hospitalized whether it is for a simple medication or a major operation, the insurance company pays most, if not all, of the expenses. Or if your insurance has a low limit, say $20,000 a year, you’d bear the excess.

Insurance is not cheap. But if you don’t have any insurance, it becomes very costly when availing on medical services or when you get hospitalized.

However, there is an alternative to medical insurance.

Ameriplan offers medical and dental discount plans so that you can avail up to 50% discounts from over 400,000 physicians and specialists in their network all over the USA. The services include doctor's visits, specialists, lab work, and imaging. Another major part of the Ameriplan Health program is their advocacy program. The advocacy program will work on your behalf and will be your representative to the hospital during your confinement or treatment.

They have various plans designed to fit your needs. The goal here is to save money. Check out Ameriplan’s website now for more details.

The Burning Desire To Win

If you remembered my entry last year about two kids fighting, and one even scheming to bomb the house, this time around, they’re still the protagonists in my post.

I was just amazed at the competitiveness of both. In a party game, “paint me a picture” to be specific, the two kids were on the opposing sides. Everytime the older (7) one’s team scores a point, he’d taunt the younger cousin (5). When the little boy’s team scores he’d make faces at his older cousin.

At the end of the game, the younger boy’s team lost. The older one jumped with joy and laughed so hard. This drew the ire of the little boy, and somewhat frustrated, he ran towards his mom and cried so hard. “I want to win! I want to win!” he wailed.

I also heard from my wife that in another party, the little boy was eliminated in a newspaper dance. His mom asked him to step aside but he yelled back, “No!”.

Watching the kids made me look back at my childhood years. I never had the competitiveness that they have. I don’t cry if I lose, which is not very often. I downplay my every victory, as usual. I also wonder what these kids will become when they grow up.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I've Done 18 out of 35 Stupid Things

That's over 50%! Stupid me! But there aren't many witnessess. Haha!

I was tagged by Daisy.

1. Start at 'start copy here'.
2. Put an X on the things you've done.
3. Tag how-many-[X]s people.
4. Post with title "I've done ___*how-many-[X]* of 35 stupid things".

*start copy here*

[ ] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were talking.
[ ] Gum has fallen out of your mouth when you were NOT talking.
[x] You have ran into a glass/screen door. Toinks!
[ ] You have fell out/off of a moving vehicle.
[x] You have thought of something funny and laughed, then people gave you weird looks.
[ ] You have ran into a tree.
[x] You have tried to lick your elbow.
[ ] You just tried to lick your elbow.
[x] You never knew that the Alphabet and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star have the same rhythm.
[x]You just tried to sing them. Now you got me!
[ ] You have tripped on your shoelace and fallen.
[ ] You have choked on your own spit.
[ ] Your hair is/was blond.
[ ] You've put metal in the microwave.
[x] You have accidentally caught something on fire.
[x] You tried to drink out of a straw, but it went into your nose/eyes.
[x] You have caught yourself drooling when you wake up.
[x] You've fallen asleep in class.
[x] You have tripped over your own feet.
[x] Sometimes you just stop thinking.
[x] You are telling a story and forget what you were talking about.
[ ] You have forgotten to breathe.
[ ]You are often told to use your "inside voice".
[ ] You use your fingers to do simple math.
[x] You have eaten a bug
[x]You are taking this test when you should be doing something else.
[x] You have put your clothes on backwards or inside out.
[x] You've looked all over for something and realized it was in your hand.
[ ] You sometimes post bulletins because you are scared that what they say will happen to you if you dont.
[ ] You break a lot of things.
[ ] Your friends know not to use big words around you.
[ ] You sometimes tilt your head when you're confused.
[x] You have fallen out of your chair before.
[x] When you're lying in bed, you try to find pictures or words in the texture of the ceiling.
[x] The word "uh" is used many times a day.

*end copy here*

Now I'm tagging.... Bing, Ghee, Zherwin, Manilenya, Des, Tina, CM and Gypsy. It's not too early to start tagging someone. (But I'll skip ten more. 18 are supposedly required.)

Welcome 2008!

The children rushed to the window to watch the firecrackers and to welcome the New Year.