Friday, November 30, 2012

Fertilizing Your Garden with Cow Dung, Urine and Brewed Coffee Waste

In her younger years, my mom, had a green thumb.  When we moved in to our first home in Novaliches, Philippines, we had a large lot and she grew a mini forest within.  She grew fruit trees like mango (Indian Mango and Carabo Mango), avocado, bayabas (guava), and guyabano.   She also had flower plants such as roses (red, white, and violet), kalachuchi, and poinsettia. 

Our subdivision was formerly an agricultural land so the soil was really fertile but my mom would still insist on putting fertilizer.  No, we don’t buy the commercial ones.  Our house was adjacent to a carabao gracing field so every now and then, my mom would take us to “harvest” dried carabao dung for her garden. 

Dried carabao dung isn’t smelly so it was just like picking up a lump of soil.  We would pick up sacks of it to bring back to the garden where my mom would ground them up and scatter amongst the plants. 

Other than carabao dung, my mom would also use urine to “water” the plants.  When we were little we had an “arinola” or urine bucket just in case we get the urge to take a leak in the middle of the night and with our bathroom still a far way off our bedroom, it was practical in the physiological as well as the horticultural sense. 

Urine is rich in micronutrients needed by plants; however, it needs to be diluted with water lest you want your plant’s roots to burn.

It has been a long time since we moved out of that house and the one we live in right now does not have a carabao gracing field and I do believe my sibling and I have outgrown our “arinola” days but my mom still cares for plants.  Good thing that I love coffee---Starbucks coffee to be exact!

Coffee bean waste also happens to be a good organic fertilizer.  Waste material of brewed coffee is dried to come out with “sapal”.  You simply mix this with the soil and you have happy and blooming plants after!  Starbucks gives away “sepal” to customers who have a green thumb. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Fish Bone Dilemma

I was feasting on left over tilapia last night when I accidentally swallowed a fish bone which to my reckoning is lodged somewhere in my esophagus (at least that's how it felt like).  It has been a long while since I had myself in this situation and recalling my last bout with an inadvertent fish bone, I remember my mother telling me to swallow a bite of banana.  Unfortunately, there was no banana on hand (except for a banana figurine which I decided not to go with unless I want to further aggravate my current situation).  So I just went with what was available.  First, I swallowed a chunck of rice---GULP!  But the pesky bone was still there!  I swallowed another chunk---nope, still there!  My, my, this bone sure is tenacious!  After a couple more rice chunks I'm already full (Boy, there goes my no carb diet!) but still the bone remained.

It's not really painful but it's really irritating like an itch you couldn't reach!  Every once in a while you'll feel a prick and you hesitate to swallow with the fear of further imbedding it.  Well, I'm still struggling to dislodge it as of this writing and so far even swallowing a whole pandesal couldn't budge it!  Sigh!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Enterprise Resource Planning 101

The Gartner group was responsible for spurring the rise of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as we know it today.  In the 90’s they came out with the terms material resource planning (MRP) and manufacturing resource planning (MRP II) which were ERP’s predecessors.  The only difference is that while MRP and MRP II were manufacturing specific, ERP transcended and became a holistic tool for corporate resource governance.

Any enterprise is comprised of SALES, PRODUCTION, FINANCE, HUMAN RESOURCES, LOGISTICS and BILLING.  What ERP does is to BRIDGE the information in between these departments and create a seamless work flow.

Addressing the Database Issue
Before the advent of ERP, businesses were tasked with a lot of paper work and very cumbersome and storage hungry data management.  When computerization came, done were the days of records keeping in huge warehouses.  Data is now stored in large capacity hard disk drives.  Each department now conveniently houses their own database. 

Problem solved---partly.

Multiple Software System Disaster
While the issue of storage has been addressed by computerization, it created multiple databases that are managed by different software solutions.  With the different silos in place transactions tends to get lost along the way and keeping track was a matter of inter department coordination---as if each department cared. 

In a multi-silo set up, each department’s goal is to get the data, process it, and then provide this to their stakeholders.  Inter-department coordination is often times non-existent and information sharing is a matter of unending red tape.

Bridging the Gap
With the existence of multiple software within a company, there is a need to consolidate information in such a way that there is transparency in the flow of transaction and at the same time provide a peace of mind that the data flowing to each department silos are correct.  This is what an ERP software can do for the company.

With proper implementation, an ERP system can unify the transaction gaps existing in a traditional corporate set up and the mayhem that goes with it.  Inter-department walls are brought down as department dashboards are put up for ready access and faster decision making capability.

Living in an Imperfect World
In a perfect world, ERP implementation is easy enough to deploy.  However, we do not live in a perfect world and there will be stumbling blocks that would make ERP a challenge to put in place. 
First of all, there is a question of BUDGET.  A solid cost benefit analysis should be clear to the decision makers to justify the cost of implementation.  Mind you---ERP is not cheap.
Then there’s the matter of integrating the existing legacy systems.  This is where the real challenge is.  The more the legacy systems there are, the more complicated the integration. 
But the complication does not stop there.  Selecting the ERP software can be a subject of much debate.  You can base your decision on market share.  But then, choosing the vendor who will implement your chosen system can be a daunting task.  A common trait of these vendors is that they are all PROMISING.  They will promise to give you the stars and the moon just to get the contract.  So it is up to you to weed out the undesirable and pick from those who has the competency to deliver the right solution for your company. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fried Balut, Anyone?

I love balut!  I enjoy sucking on its hot broth, relishing on the yolk and the duck embryo, and the ceremony of dissecting it very much like the solemn ritual of the Tea Ceremony. 
Balut is a Filipino street food.  It is a boiled duck egg which is conventionally eaten from the shell with a dash of salt as condiment.  However, not all duck eggs can be made as balut.  Ideally, duck eggs are aged for 17 days when the selection process.  By this time, the chick inside has yet to develop its beak, feathers, claws, and still has underdeveloped bones---the perfect balut!

Much that I enjoy slurping on the balut's embryonic soup, the breaded fried balut version is what I usually trip on nowadays. So yesterday on my way home I chanced upon an Eggspert kiosk at SM Fairview and saw that they were selling fried balut.  Like Pavlov's dog---I was salivating in the anticipation of getting my first bite!

 By the time my order was heated and garnished with vinegar I was already in a frenzy and as soon as I sat down I immediately devoured one whole egg in a single bite!  It was then that I noticed that I was munching on a lot of bones---big ones at that!  So after I've swallowed the last morsel of the first egg I decided to dissect the second one to get a look see. I wish I hadn't because what I saw almost turned my stomach!  The chick was already fully formed with beak, feathers, and claws!  I lost my appetite after that.  Well, the Vietnamese prefer their version of the balut this way but I'm no Vietnamese so this didn't sit well with me!

Well, I'm definitely not going to buy fried balut in Eggspert!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maria Menounos in Men's Fitness Magazine

For a Men's Fitness Magazine to be graced by a female seems odd---at least to me, that is.  But thinking about it further, womanhood does have their good effects on men's health.  Personally, just looking at this month's cover makes my heart pump as if I just ran a marathon!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

KC Conception for Tanduay Rum Calendar 2013

Who would have known that the little chubby girl that Sharon Cuneta and Gabby Conception spawned would become such a sexy lady?  Obviously, not me!  But it is a pleasant surprise!   

Here's KC Conception for Tanduay!

Maxim USA December 2012 Starring Arianny Celeste and Britney Palmer

Arianny Celeste and Britney Palmer---round per round they sure are GORGEOUS!