Monday, October 31, 2011

The Continuing Saga of Senior vs Junior

Many people think that after Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. settled the lawsuit that they were locked in for two years, father and son would let bygones be bygones and eventually kiss and make up---WRONG!  To this day, father and son remain estranged. 

Recent episodes of American Chopper:  Sr. vs Jr. now includes an aftershow interview with the Teutuls on both side of the fence, OCC and PJD, and every once in a while the touchy subject of reconciliation comes afore.  Apparently, Senior is more keen on reconciling with Mikey than Junior.  Why is that?

Well, I could think of a couple of reasons:
  1. Mikey is obviously Senior's favorite (in terms of having fun with).
  2. Mikey is the only Teutul who can actually hit Senior in the balls (literally) and get away with it.
  3. Mikey makes Senior laugh (even during his many blowouts).
Senior admitted to the third one in last Monday's episode.  As for the other two, you can go back to the earlier episodes of the show and decide for yourself.

I have just finished reading Senior's business memoir "Ride of a Life Time:  Doing Business the Orange County Chopper Way" and in there you can surmise that Junior is his least favorite son. 

The primary premise of the book is HARD WORK.  Senior pictured himself as a workaholic, who, despite of any carousing the previous night, never missed a day of work.  As a father, Senior wanted to impart the same value to his sons.  He favored his second son Dan to whom he gave the reigns of his ironworks business as someone who is "willing to learn" and had the work ethics to succeed. 

Although he did cite Junior's innovative fabrication genius, he sees him as a know-it-all "who hasn't had to work for much in his life".  About this Senior says:
Not because he's lazy, but because he seems to have a natural ability to do almost anything he wants to do.  When Paulie played football, he was the best player on the team.  Whe ran trace, he was the fastest guy on the team.  When he was competitively weightlifting, he was always the best.  It all came naturally to him.
For Senior, Juniors natural abilities to excel in anything he does prevents him from committing to any endeavor.  Personally, I think Senior is so fixated in his philosophy of hard work that he does not see the natural talent of Junior.  I also believe Senior resents the fact that he is unable to teach Junior anything. 

Before Jason Pohl came to OCC, Junior was the designer.  He'd design bikes out of the fly.  No drawings.  We have all seen what kind of a custom bike designer Junior is in creations like the Fire Bike, Liberty Bike, Jet Bike, Gillette Bike, I Robot Bike, Comanche Bike, Army Bike and a lot more.  Every thing was done in his head.  Of course, to make his vision happen he had a team of excellent fabricators such as Vinnie and Rick to work with him.  Such is the world of CUSTOM bike that OCC was known for. 

Senior also questions Junior's commitment to deliver based on punctuality.  This is discounting the fact that OCC has not missed a deadline while Junior was there. 

Junior's problem with punctuality could have been addressed by counseling.  As a part owner of the company, Senior could have explained the effects of Junior's tardiness with the business.  First, owners should set an example to the workers.  Secondly, tardiness means loss of money.  With the desing all in his head, workers cannot work without Junior's presence.  If he reports for work 2 hours late, that would mean total hours late x hourly rate x number of workers on the project.  This is further compounded by the number of times overtime is needed to compensate for the tardiness.  Third, rules need to be enforced.  A logical consequence to Junior's tardiness should have been being charged with the non-productive hours of the employees affected and the overtime.  This way, there is no money loss to the company and Junior learns his lesson.  Unfortunately, Senior's counseling equivalent are blowouts that is reciprocated by resentment from Junior.  No wonder he screwed up his relationship with his children.  

I'm also under the impression that Senior doesn't have plans of reconciling with Junior.  I base this on his interviews in the show where he keeps on saying negative things about his eldest son.  How can Junior be inclined to opening the doors of reconciliation when you hear your old man lambasting you publicly?  If Senior keeps on stoking the fire of hate reconciliation is virtually impossible.

House Season 8

After last season's house crashing last episode, season 8 begins with House incarcerated for a year and parole eligible.  Of course, even in prison House still steers up a commotion with the inmate big wigs.  His genius however delivers him from another 6 months of jail time when a case in Princeton‑Plainsboro Hospital comes up and the new Dean of Medicine brokers for his parole and his medical reinstatement.  Ironically, House's new boss is Foreman. 

House come back with a shanty of an office and Dr. Chi Park, a Filipino-Korean doctor,  who now comprises his "team".   With no clout and with his ass tied to the hospital and his home (due to an ankle monitor), House tries to bully his way through hospital utilities and conspiring to get his old team back.

Enter Dr. Jessica Adams (played by Odette Yustman) as the doctor whom House got chummy with while inside prison.  She is now unemployed (afte she sides with House's diagnosis in the opening episode) and is now working for House in a voluntary basis.  And then comes 13.  Boy oh boy, I'm thinking this is going to be one interesting season---until House fires 13 after episode 3.  Yeah, BUMMER!

Well, the season is still young and many things are still to unfold. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vacationing in Boracay on a Limited Budget

It’s not cheap going to Boracay so you have to know where you can get free grub. So don’t pass up on hotel presentation invites. The come on: a buffet lunch or dinner in exchange for a 90 minute presentation. Well, we got two invites so me and my wife got free buffet lunch and buffet dinner at the Astoria Boracay and the Canyon de Boracay, respectively. Not a bad deal, right?

I’ve heard everything about the hotel pitch countless times already that I was the one leading the presentation just to hasten things up. Unfortunately, his presentation will need to be no less than 90 minutes and his notes fully filled up for him to earn his keep for the night. So we kinda cheated on time a bit and talked more of the other good stuff to be done in Boracay.

My free Starbucks coffee from HSBC also helped get us going with all the sight seeing and walking that we were doing.

Unfortunately, our free accomodations I got from a car show did not pan out.  I'll reserve that for next time.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pahuwayan Suites, Boracay

In the Visayan vernacular "pahuway" means "to rest".  Pahuwayan then means "a place where you can rest". 

Located at the eastern side of Boracay Island along the Bulabog Beach, the Pahuwayan Suites is definitely a place where you can rest and be far away from the bussle of city life.  Heck!  It's even extricated from the busy west side of the island where Stations 1-3 are located.  Again, it depends on what kind of relaxation you want.  In the case of this resort, it's the quiet and serene one.  However, it does not mean that Bulabog Beach is a boring place.  It does have its own set of FUN activities.  Actually, it is considered to be the Number 1 kite boarding beach in Asia and home of international kite boarding instructors and champions of the famed Freestyle Academy.

On this side of the island, the cottages or villas are so near the shoreline that you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves hitting shore and where you get buffetted by the strong Amihan wind.  There is also no eatery and nightlife on this side of the island.  By night fall, the beach is all dark and lifeless except for the sound of waves and the rustle of the coconut leaves.  If you want some night action, D'Mall is but a 10 minute walk away.

Pahuwayan Suites is only a year old with an 8 room accomodation.  My wife and I were booked in the Queen Size Room.  Amenities include a private balcony with seating area, a queen size bed, a 32-inch LCD TV with cable, airconditioning system, hot and cold shower, and Wi-fi connection.  The only difference between the other type room (King Size Room) is the size and the inclusion of a sofa and dining table.  The room is semi-painted, high ceilinged, and with a touch of wood.

The bath is where the downside of this resort comes in.  Pragmatic in design, you have a sink, toilet, and a shower.  No bathtub nor hairdryer (much to the disdain of my wife).  The resort also provided towels but with the exception of the toilet paper, there were no other free toiletries supplied.  Meaning, you need to bring your own toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, and soap. 

Another downside is that the place doesn't have a generator.  There was a power outage during our second day on the island which lasted for 9 hours.  Heat was not the issue.  It was windy and all we had to do was open the balcony doors and we could have chilled there the whole day.  It was the lack of water that was the discomfort.  Apparently, the suite ran a water pump to supply the three floor complex and when the power went out---the water went with it.  I had to fetch water from the ground floor and bring it to our second floor room.

The toilet is also in need of a bidet.  Well, for a big guy like me whose got a whole lot of load to dump, if your toilet doesn't have a good flushing capacity, then we've got a problem.  Since there's no bidet or a dipper for that matter, there's no choice but use the tissue paper.  Unfortunately, a huge load plus tissue paper meant a whole lot of flushing!  I would have loved to borrow the pail and dipper of the resort but it seems it's the only one so it was up to my ingenuity to provide for an alternative.  This is where the 1.5 litter Gatorade bottle came into play.

My wife and I went to Boracay to savor the scenery so despite this low side, I'd still give the Pahuwayan Suites a VERY GOOD in terms of the ambiance it provided.  It was the first time that we saw the sun rise in Boracay and it was majestic!

Oh, and just in case you're wondering, we paid 2k/night which is the low season rate. 

How to get there:
  • From the jettyport take a tricycle.
  • Fare should range from Php 100-125 only.
  • Since Pahuwayan is a new resort, tricycle drivers may not know were its at, so just tell them to go to Bulabog.  The hotel is opposite the 7 Stones Hotel.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Company Phone Etiquette

Having a company phone comes the responsibility of answering business calls.  That's a must.  Using your company phone for personal matters is but an additional perk.  In so far that I have been given a company phone to use I have come to set my own ground rules based on my personal experiences.  Well, actually, it's based on the Golden Rule --- don't do unto others what you don't want others to do unto you.  Unfortunately, not many share this philosophy.  My opinion is---either they hate their work or they are freeloaders whose presence in the company is but a waste of investment. Anyway, allow me to share the company phone etiquette as I know it:

1.  Answer ALL calls---even those whose numbers is not part of your phonebook.  This is especially true for those who distribute calling cards during meetings.  Me, I don't immediately store the numbers of vendors in my phonebook so there are times when they call me back their numbers don't register.  So always assume that when your phone rings it is always a business call.  Hence, IMPORTANT.  You can miss personal calls from a nagging wife or mistress but never a business call.

2.  When you miss a call, have the decency to either text or call back.  This goes back to rule #1.  Business calls are meant to be responded to.  It's simple courtesy.  Ignoring missed calls is not only a reflection of your person but also taints the reputation of your company.

3.  Two rings should be enough.  This should be similar to your landline rule.  Entertaining calls are part of the job.  POJ as I call it.  A job hazard that needs to be accepted especially if you're handling helpdesk. 

Of course there are exeptions to this rule like:  
  • In a meeting or is engaged in an important conversation
  • Driving - for those who have cars or motorcycles (especially motorcycles)
  • While in a public utility vehicle (pick pocket or snatcher magnet)
  • While in a theater

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tim Allen Returns to TV with "Last Man Standing"

Tim Allen is finally back on TV!  "Last Man Standing" aired its pilot episode last October 11.  The sitcom evolves around Mike Baxter (played by Tim Allen), a marketing manager of an outdoor sporting goods store and the women of his life:  his wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis), Mandy (Molly Ephaim), Kristin (Alexandra Krosney), and Eve (Kaitlyn Dever).  It's Tim Taylor in another lifetime!  He remains to be the manly-man father coping with fatherhood but this time guided by wisdom of a grizzled outdoorsman.  Two episodes in I'd say that like Tim Taylor, who starred in a hit show Tool Time, Mike's internet persona will become viral.  The comedy is vintage Home Improvement---the way I like my comedy---and based on how it faired during it's pilot run, 13 million viewers share my sentiment.

Another show to look forward to weekly.  Welcome back Tim!

Papa John Pizza: Too Much of a Promise

I wrote about my dining experience at Yellow Cab a couple of blogs ago and a friend said that something better is coming to SM Fairview.  Then came Papa John's Pizza.

For clarity's sake, let me just quantify that my understanding of a "better option" is specific to Food, Service, and Ambiance.  Naturally, this promise intrigued me no end.  So last September 27 me with my wife and daughter in tow went to get a taste of Papa John's. 

We dropped by after doing our weekly grocery at the SM Hypermart around 8:30pm.  We were greeted by friendly service crews  and ushered to a table.  After browsing through the menu we decided to order the ones with the most enticing pictures, namely:  the BBQ Pork Rib, Bacon Cheese Burger Pizza, Chicken Strips, and Chicken Mushroom Calzone.  Unfortunately, we were informed that the BBQ Pork Rib was already closed for ordering since it's already near closing time and there were no longer Chicken Strips available.  Oh well, that's what I get for going there late.  Instead, I ordered for Cheese Sticks and Baked Italian Meatballs.  It was a delectable feast.  However, the Baked Italian Meatballs, while the taste is good, @ Php 140 it doesn't give value for money with such a small serving.  I can actually cram all 5 meatballs in my mouth and put it down the hatch in one gulp. 

Last Sunday, my wife and I again tripped on Papa John's.  It was still early (around 6pm) so we ordered for the BBQ Pork Rib but again we were disappointed since the store ran out of stock.  Madami daw kasing tao earlier.  My thought was I don't care if the store had a fiesta earlier.  My concern is I'm a customer and I want an order of BBQ Pork Rib on the menu.  I tried to salvage the situation by ordering a small pizza and Potato Wedges but both were also out.  Sigh!  Exasperated, we got ourselves out of there and went straight to Shakey's Pizza where everything was available inspite of the fact that they were semi-filled up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BPI Credit Card Customer Service: HELPLESS Helpdesk

Is it just me or the 89100 Customer Service number of BPI credit card really SUCK?! 

I was one of the "lucky" people to be given an automatically approved credit card from BPI.  There was no paper work required.  Just a telephone interview from their call center and the card was delivered to me in no time.  However, I already have a couple of credit cards already so I just shelved it and eventually forgot about it.  Early this year, I used it for a couple of transactions only to find out that it had been more than a year already and I was billed the annual fee.  Not wanting to pay that amount, I tried callling their 89100 Customer Assistance number but I never got a chance to talk to an agent.  That was two months ago and I'm still trying to call this number.  I browsed through their internet site and tried to communicate via electronic mail but I was unable to find any e-mail address I can send my letter to.

Eventually, I got tired trying and just approached a manager to ask for assistance.  According to the manager they have no customer service email address and my request should pass through their customer assistance number.  Apparently, BPI had a system migration which affected both their bank transaction and their telephony.  Unfortunately, even with the assurance from the manager that everything is alright now, I'm still unable to contact this number. 

I say, "BPI SUCKS!"

Chick-Boy Review

I love eating and has this knack for trying out what's new in the fastfood market.  Naturally, the buzz about Chic-Boy caught my attention. 

So far, everyone that I have spoken to who've already had an eating experience in this place gave me good reviews.  So, just this evening, I asked my wife for a dinner date at the newly opened Chic-Boy outlet at Fairview.  It was around 7pm and it was semi-peak.  The ground floor was airconditioned.  I would have chosen to seat there but it was already full so there was no choice but go to the second floor dining al fresco.  Needless to say, all the smokers were there---not good for my asthma!  Oh, well...the craving to taste what all the talk was all about numbed me from the second hand smoke.

I got there first ahead of my wife and was instantly served with free soup.  "Sabaw ng linagang baka," says the service crew.  Plus points for the store.

My wife finally arrives and for Php 338 we got to order Cebu Lechon Liempo and Cebu Lechon Manok with rice, Palabok, Lumpiang Sariwa, and Bottomless Ice Teas.  In other establishments, an order of bottomless ice tea would cost around Php 60 but here it's only Php 25.  Sweet!  They also offer "rice-all-you-can".  After dinner, me and my wife were tanked!  

1.  Food - If you eat to savor the food, this is not the place for you.  I found nothing special in terms of taste.  Actually, I have tasted better.  But if you want to get filled up at a minimal cost, you can go here and splurge on the bottomless ice tea and all the rice you want.  If you're particular about the viand, the lechon manok quarter leg looked like that of a spring chicken.  The lechon liempo has more servings though. 

2.  Service - The service crew were friendly.  It took about 10 minutes for our food to arrive but it was not newly cooked---not even a hint of heat when I got my first bite.

3.  Ambiance - The place was barely a month old so it still looked fresh.  Don't expect cushioned seats here.  No back rest too.  They have a 6 car parking with an option to park along the adjacent street if need be.  If you have asthma, stay clear of the al fresco dining area---it's a cacophony of second hand smore and carbon monoxide from the passing vehicles along Regalado Avenue.

4.  Location - You'll know that people love this place if you see those commuting south-bound braving the crossing of Regalado Avenue.  Otherwise, it would be a nice stop over for lunch or dinner when travelling north-bound. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I woke up early as usual and went through my regular early morning routine (of cooking breakfast for the kids and multi-tasking in Facebook) when I felt a nagging pain on my rightside chest.  Still, I went on my business and tried to ignore it.  After escorting my mother to her jeepney stop for church, I got into a jeepney on my way to work.  The pain was already bothersome by now.  I already  felt difficulty getting deep breaths.  So I finally decided to go straight to the FEU hospital to get some doctor's advise.  

It was a slow day at the ER that time around 5:30am so I got immediate attention.  The nurse got my pulse, blood pressure, and ECG.  Unfortunately, it was male nurse which ruled out any happy hour during my stay.  Actually, there was a scarcity of any pretty nurses or interns around which made my stay quite boring.  After 30 minutes, the doctor tells me that my vitals were all normal.  He then decides to give me a painkiller.  After an hour, the pain finally subsided.  According to the doctor's report it was COSTOCHRONDITIS.  Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to the the painkiller I was given to take and ended up with itchy, swollen eyes as if I got into a round with Pacman.  Now I'm the source of humor by Chesca who says that I look like Majinboo (whoever that is).

I think I had the same episode a couple of years ago.  I also brought myself to the hospital with the same problem.  That time I did not tell my wife until I got home.  You can just imagine the flack that I got for not telling her.  So this time I called her as soon as I got to the ER.  My first words were, "Do not panic."  I guess it was something you don't tell your wife when you're calling from the ER.  Although she did not go to hysterics, she just got in her shirt and jeans and set off without doing her morning hygiene rituals and was by my side in no time.  Sweet, right?  That's why I love my wife very much!