Friday, September 30, 2011

Bus Travelling Tips

I guess with my many years of  travelling the Fairview to Megamall route by bus makes me kind of an expert in the subject matter, so allow me to provide you some tips when going this road and then some.

On a Monday...
-set off early.  If you're from Lagro or beyond, don't let yourself be caught at the juncture of Regalado and Commonwealth Avenue at 6am---if you don't want to get stuck there for a LONG while.

-and you're running late, take the Ayala bus.  It will by-pass the Ortigas intersection and buy you around 10-15 minutes of traffic time.  However, you need to make sure that you sit near the entrance.  It's often times standing room come Mega Mall and it's going to be a real bitch getting off if you're seated at the back.

-everyone seems to be running late.  When this happens and you happen to be one of them idiots who think they can outrun the Monday morning rush---you better make sure you find a front row seat; otherwise, it will be a bitch squeezing your way out of a fully packed bus.

When picking a bus...
-well, if you're a tall, big guy like me, you need more leg room.  In my experience, the Jayross bus fits my size to a T...well, most of them mostly (I do belive they also have different makes of buses where sitting is concened).  There's also Kellen and Taguig Lines but these two are oftentimes already filled up by the time they get to my waiting stations at the Petron station in Fairview (near the SSS Village) and at SM Megamall.

To bring or not to bring...a sweater...
-if you're travelling early morning or evening, I suggest you do.  Super cold these new buses especially during those times.  With the old buses, commuters would complain that it's too hot.  Now, with the new buses it's extremely cold.  I'm not complaining though.  Better cold than hot.  Sweat of different stench plus the heat can be a very nauseating experience.  (Paano ka naman matutulog nun?)

Telenovela, news, or a movie?
-I'm not fond of telenovelas (except those sexy Mexican types where it's more flaunting of cleavages and skin tight outfits); the news would always showcase the bad (not a great way to start your day I tell you); so I guess it's a movie for me.  Which leads to the question---"Why is it that there would be instances when they show imported movies with subtitles?   I absolutely hate this!  How can you concentrate on watching when you're too busy trying to read what the characters are saying?!  Anyway, unless it's a favorite movie of mine, I normally go to sleep throughout the bus ride.

The best seat in the house is...
-the one nearest the window.  This is more an advantage for a big guy like me.  Basically I occupy 1 1/4 of the seating space so it's "sorry" to those seating with me.  The downside is that it's hard to plow through stubborn seatmates when getting out of the bus.  Sorry again if you refuse to budge from your seat when I'm on my way out 'cause---I'm definitely going to pass you whichever which way I can. Crash and burn, baby!
The worst seat in the house is...
-the back seat.  Other than the it's the worst place to be when getting out of a packed bus, if the rear wheel suspension ain't that good---it's sure to be one hell of a bumpy ride!

Is sleeping in the bus safe?
-If you're a woman or a puny little man with a flamboyant attitude, better keep alert.  Pick pockets will zero in on you and strike if you're not alert or will simply bully you to give up your things.  If you're pretty or is dressed to show more skin, expect to be stared on by  the men.  Worse case you get to seat beside a sexual deviant---now that's going to be creepy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Where's the vacuum?

That was the very first question that I asked my wife when I heard this story.

My son was confined at the FEU hospital for five days. The hospital was fully booked and the only remaining room was the Executive Suite Room which is two levels up versus my health insurance coverage.

We had waited to be admitted for more than an hour and when it was finally our turn I was informed that there is no more regular private room available nor any other room lower than my coverage except the Executive Suite Room. Given the late hour and the need to have my son checked, I agreed to check in to that room in the hope that there would be an available regular private room available the following day. No such luck.

In fairness, the room was spacious and except for the hospital bed, it did not look like a hospital room at all. There was a ref, a leather sofa, a four person dining table, a wash sink, and a personal bath with hot water. Oh, and did I mention that the floor was carpeted? Well it was! Such a nice room it was!

However, I can’t say the same in terms of services.

Having stayed there for 3 days, my wife noticed that no one came to clean up the carpet. So that’s three days worth of food crumbs, dirt, and what not. A tickler for cleanliness, my wife couldn’t resist calling up housekeeping to request that the carpet be cleaned. Expeditious action is definitely an asset of this hospital. Within minutes, here comes the housekeep. He tells my wife and son to cover their noses and then proceeds to sweep the floor. What?! Sweep the floor?! Where’s the vacuum?!

I should have seen this coming. On our first day, my wife would like to take a hot shower and found the heater was not working. Again, their maintenance people got there quick checked on the problem. When they where done, I asked what the problem was. According to the tech, “Mahina ang tubig sir kaya walang nakakarga sa heater.” What?! A suite room with a low water pressure? E manong pang sinisingil ka ng mahal?!

Hmmm…dapat yata e mag demand ako ng discount.

Paul Junior Designs: Gears of War Trike

Man!  This bike blew my mind!  Really freaky!  A further testament to Paul Teutul Jr.'s creative mind.  Although "The Machine" cannot be credited to Junior alone (the steering mechanism was Brendon's idea), he is not bound by convention and has an open ear to out of the box ideas.  This is what custom bike is all about---innovative and one of a kind.

The bike was commissioned by Epic Games to promote their latest Gears of War game and was unveiled at the ComicCon in San Diego, California.

The highlights of this bike are:
1.  Steering - Unlike a normal bike that come with handle bars...who am I kidding---this is not a normal bike!  This bike is fantasy come to life!  Steering was an innovation not done in any other bike or trike for that matter.  Push-pull cables where utilized for control.

2.  Wheels - Simply MASSIVE!  Each wheel weights at a staggering 141 lbs.  Designed to traverse the terrains of the planet Sera.

3.  Nickel Plating - The first time Junior incorporated nickel plating on a bike was during the Liberty Bike build.  It surely went in nicely with the out of this world steering mechanism of "The Machine".
4.  Gatling Gun exhaust - Nothing like two Gatling Guns to mow down those Locust Hordes!

5.  Overall incredible paint job by Nub - It's a Nubby masterpiece!

In my opinion, this creation brought PJD out of the shadows of OCC.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Depressing ER Experience

A hospital’s emergency room is the most depressing room to be in.  The atmosphere is foreboding, stressful and utterly depressing. 

My three year old son was recommended to be confined after a routine check up.  He was with fever and dehydrated.  So my wife and I took him to the FEU hospital in Fairview.  There was no skirting the ER since this is the first step prior to admission.

The very instant that you breathe in that ER air you are automatically burdened with a heavy heart in the midst of all the drama around.

The FEU ER was packed when we arrived around 5pm.  Four priority cases are being attended to and it was rather depressing to be in the middle of it all.  Relatives of those in critical condition are either teary eyed, crying, or in total breakdown.  One case that struck a nerve was that of a baby who was fighting for his/her life.  A doctor was seemingly giving him/her CPR, another looked like she was trying to wake up the child and was shaking his/her right hand, and another was pumping air into the child’s mouth.  The child had a bloated abdomen and dark in color.  This went on for more than an hour and then the wailing started.  The child did not survive and relatives were crying.  It was really dispiriting.   

It was the longest wait that I had to endure.  Being a parent, I felt the pain.  My heart felt heavy.  I said a silent prayer for that child.  May he/she rest in peace.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Book Sale Treasure: "The Score Takes Care of Itself" by Bill Walsh

Digging in book sales can turn up the most unexpected treasures.  Under those stacked up books are reading materials that can be life changers.  I used to buy brand new books---bestselling novels mostly---but with a big family to support, the purchase of brand new books is a luxury that I needed to sacrifice.  It did not however dampen my craving for a new book to read.  So where else does a book lover go if you don't have the dough to buy a new one---BOOK SALES!

Life is a continuous learning process; however, you need not experience everything for you to learn.  Other people's stories can provide you life lessons that you can learn from.  Living life can be difficult sometimes and you need a boost of hope whenever things don't go as you want it to go or if it doesn't move at all.  Reading gives me that boost. 

Successful athletes provide a rich source of positive vibes.  Hard work, persistence, perseverance, and hope.  These are the common denominator in the lives of sports greats like Joe Montana, Larry Bird, Joe Namath, Earvin "Magic" Johnston, Wilt Chamberlain, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Steve Young, and Kurt Warner.  (Well, obviously, I'm a basketball and football fan.)  In terms of leadership insights, sports coaches provide a cornucopia of values particular to people management, planning, and strategizing.  Bill Parcells, Pat Riley, Mike Ditka, Vince Lombardi, Phil Jackson, and John Madden.  (I suggest you read John Madden's books if you want to learn and be entertained at the same time.) 

My recent trip to the book sale shop turned up yet another treasure for me---Bill Walsh's "The Score Takes Care of Itself".  Bill Walsh was the father of the Westcoast Offense and the legendary coach of the San Francisco 49ers.  His Standard of Excellence in running the San Francisco 49ers' is a leadership rich manuscript that is by no means limited to sports but to business as well.  In a nutshell, what this book would like to say is, "When you prepare for everything, you are ready for anything."

This book did almost did not get printed.  Bill Walsh was in collaboration with Steve Jamison for a book after Walsh retired the head coach of the 49ers in 1988 but the publication of the book was shelved when Walsh was re-hired by the 49ers in 1999 serving as Vice President, General Manageras, and consultant until 2004.  Steve Jamison's manuscript for Bill Walsh's book on leadership was put in a box and accumulated dust for 10 years.   In 2007, Bill contacted Steve to see the book through, but before they could start, Bill died of leukemia.  Bill's son Craig gave Steve the go signal to publish the book in 2009.

Where Do You Want to Go?

Your success is bound by the limits of your VISION.  Everything starts out as a dream, however, a dream will remain a dream without ACTION.

So the question is really---"Where do you want to go?"  Once you've answered this question, it's time to takes steps towards your destination.  Well, you don't expect to teleport, are you?  That's science fiction.  In reality, the journey is long and often times---HARD (unless your father is filthy rich like Paris Hilton and you're set up for life). 

The journey is important.  It is the one that builds character.  The hardships that come with it is even more important since it is the source of life's education; hence the saying, "failure is the best teacher".  So do not be afraid to fail.  Be afraid of NOT LEARNING from your failure because life is but a cycle of different circumstances.  Learn not from your mistakes and you're bound to repeat them over and over again.  Not a fun way to live, right?

Don't lose sight of where you want to go---detours and all.  Build yourself up towards your goal.