Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tim Tebow in the NFL

I have written about Tim Tebow as a college football star for the Florida Gators in a previous blog and needless to say---I'm a fan.

He was picked up 25th over-all during the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.  Unfortunately, he lost his sponsor in Josh McDaniels who resigned prior to the 2011 season and he got stuck in a quarterback toss up that  pitted him with Kyle Orton.  Former Bronco's John Elway's entry as the organization's vice-president did not help in Tebow's cause.  Elway led the Broncos to back-to-back Superbowls in the 90's and he was a pocket QB with arm strength and pinpoint accuracy.  Tebow is a a running quarterback.  So I guess it's quite obvious who Elway leaned on.  Orton eventually got the number 1 spot.

Poor Broncos---Orton proved unable to lead the team and after 5 games, they were 1-4.  Call that divine providence.  If you must know, the Tebow family is a religious lot.  Tim's mother and father are Christian missionaries.  Well, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.  Needless to say, Tim is outspoken in terms of his faith so much so that during his football days as the Florida Gator's quarterback, he would paint bible verses on his face.  How's that for a show of faith?

Tebow got the go ahead to start in game six and after six games the Broncos are 5-1.  Statistically, Tebow's passing percentage is a little more than 45% for 852 yards with 8 touchdowns and 1 interception.  He ran the ball 78 times for 455 yards (gaining 5.8 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns.  His 143 pass attempts did not qualify him to be on the NFL pass rating list but his 80.5% is better than Michael Vick, Joe Flacco, and Matt Cassel so I'd say that he's faring well against some of the veteran passers this season.

The Broncos offense has since designed running plays for Tebow and has so far given them dividends.  However, can Tim sustain the long term punishment of running the ball so much?  No quarterback has run so much for the longest time and by today's quarterback standards Tebow is by no means conventional.  Which is why the defense of other teams were caught off-guard---they had no defensive scheme to stymie this new quarterback role.

As I've mentioned earlier, Tebow is a running quarterback---mind you, I did not say a scrambler.  A scrambler is a quarterback who runs the ball if he does not find a receiver open with the pressure closing in.  Tebow's running is a designed play.  He is suppose to run the ball.

Tebow is built like a tight end, tall and muscular but with the speed and power of a running back.  However, this does not make him invincible.  During his college days, he as suffered several concussions playing this role.  The NFL is a much tougher arena to be in with more vicious tacklers.  To survive the game, he needs to be wise in carrying the ball and avoid the hits as much as possible.  On the side, he should really start working on his passing game and become a double threat to the opposing team. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Victoria Court: Moulin Rouge Party Room

Had another great time with my wife at Victoria Court last November 6.  Thanks to another discount offer from Groupon-Beeconomic.

This time, we chose the Moulin Rouge suite (see my Venice Room blog here  Actually, my first option was the Oval Office since I wanted a well lit room.  Unfortunately, it was under renovation that time.

Based on the pictures I've seen of Moulin Rouge, it was gloomy and looked ominous---which does not fare well with scaredy-cat like me.  However, as soon as I opened the door to the suite, I was awe struck with the grandeur of the place!  The only thing missing were the cabaret girls doing the can-can dance! (As if my wife would subscribe to such a thing!)

 The voucher was for a 12 hour stay, but my wife and I really enjoyed the place that another 12 hour extension was in order (which was still a steal at the rate of Php 2,000 for another 12 hours stay).  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Aging and Trying to be Graceful About It

I've been telling myself that age is but a number.  I guess that's one way of being positive about it.  There's no denying it though for with each year that passes change happens and as the number grows so does the changes.

As the boy becomes a man the voice becomes deeper and hair starts to grow in all places.  Basically, this is the time of blossoming virility.  But as man reaches the peak of his manhood---it's all down hill from there---physically.  You then start noticing grey hair coming out or your full hair starts receding, and  laugh lines begin to dominate your facial features (that is if you're always smiling; otherwise it would be frown lines for the grumpy!).  Personally I don't mind the greying hair and I'm proud of my laugh lines but what irks me the most about this aging thing is that it has affected my ability to read.  

I have been wearing prescription glasses for most of my life and I never thought of the day that I'd be needing two of them:  one for my regular activities and the other one for reading.  When it hit me that I'd be needing reading glasses I was devastated!  If there was a mid-life crisis---that was it!  Que horror!

I grew up reading books and for me to get incapacitated was hard to accept.  It was only then that I have come face to face with the reality of aging.  I was in denial for a couple of months but as reading came more and more harder to do, good reason got the better of me and I had reading glasses made.

Now I can read again.  At first, the burden of carrying an extra eye wear was a pain but as I came to accept life's inevitable cycle, it was then that I vowed to just deal with it as graciously as I can.  Well, I can read again and that's the bottomline.

Life goes on so---SMILE and enjoy what's there to have.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be a Follower First

I have been a follower for most of my life.  Still am and I'm proud to be one.

As a son, I tried to be as dutiful as I could be---pitching in on my housechores.  As a service crew, it was basically the same except that you have a manager telling you what to do plus---you get paid. 

Being a follower is not a bad thing.  To be a good leader, you need to be a good follower.  So I guess, being a follower is a preparation for good things to come.

In the next couple of years after my first paying job I pride myself at doing my job well.  I was always told to put QUALITY in everything that I  do and I did.  I guess it kinda rubbed on all those years; plus, I was fortunate enough to be under leaders who were able to put out the best in me.  Leaders who were uncompromising when it comes to quality.  For this I thank God.

But it was never just a job for me.  It did put food on the table but more than anything else it gave me an opportunity to be a part of an ever growing business.  Oh, did I say that I have worked for the same brand all these years?  I still do.

Pacquiao-Marquez Trilogy: A Viewer's Perspective

As I was walking to work this morning, the euphoria of the Pacquiao vs. Marquez bout yesterday was still high.  The debate regarding the result of the fight was in high gear when I boarded the bus which was tuned in to the early morning news.  As I walked the streets on my way to the office, the same debate was the focus of discussion by the FX drivers.  

I watched the match yesterday and after the final bell rang, I said that Pacquiao's 14 game win streak will end in this fight.  I guess, it was because Pacquiao was not able to dominate the game as I expected him to do.  Fortunately, God was on Pacquiao's side as he still got off a win via a unanimous decision from the judges.   

Pacquiao was supposed to be a better fighter today compared to his last two meetings with Marquez.  This was why many were expecting that he will will convincingly win yesterday.  However, Marquez, expecting Pacquiao to attack, strategized to go with his strong point which is to counter-punch and he did so with great effectiveness.  This proved frustrating to Pacquiao.  While he was aggressive in attacking Marquez he was also cautious in doing so in respect to the counter-punching power of his opponent.  After all, a lucky punch is  a possibility.

I'm not familiar how boxing is scored so my definition of a convincing win is plain domination.  Neither Marquez nor Pacquiao dominated but the latter played his game while the former was out of his.  And then there's the much anticipated Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight.  Put 1 and 1 together and you'll think that a Pacquiao loss would not do well in making this match happen.  Boxing IS big business and that dream fight would mean major money.  But this is just me.

If it was a matter of hitting the other guy the most, statistics would show that Pacquiao was the winner.  He led Marquez in terms of punches connected, jabs, and power punches connected.

                                  578 punches connecting 176
                                  304 jabs connecting 59
                                  274 power punches connecting 117

                                  436 punches connecting 138
                                  182 jabs connecting 38
                                  254 power punches connecting 100

No wonder Marquez's face was with cuts and pulpy after the fight while Pacquiao looked untouched.

So how is a boxing bout scored?

In a nutshell, he who connects with the most punch wins a round.  Winning a round would mean being awarded 10 points while the other gets a 9.  This is referred to as the 10 Point Must System.  Winning all the rounds would mean getting 120-108 judges score.  If a knockdown is scored that would mean a score of 10-8.  If two knockdowns are scored, 10-7.  However, if a round is dominated by neither side a 9-9 score is given.

In a bout where a championship is at stake, the challenger need to be the aggressor.  If a challenger fails to show this in the fight then he is bound to lose it.  I guess this alone would justify why Marquez did not win.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fruit Cake, Killion, and Looking Forward to the Yuletide Season

Christmas is FRUIT CAKE season for our family.  It's my mother's specialty and she's got her regular clients to satisfy.  So as early as October she'd start building up her raw materials and start baking this Yuletide delicacy as early as November. 

Fruit cake is laced with rum and is meant to be aged.  The longer it sits the better it taste.  Hence, baking it early will have it aged enough in time for Christmas.  It is truly a delight to eat and makes for a perfect Christmas gift.

If you're going to shop around for this treat, you'll notice that it is quite expensive.  This is because its ingredients does not come cheap (if you see offers that promises a 0.75 kg  fruit cake for less than Php 350---better be wary).  Glazed fruits, walnuts, pili nuts, dates, these raw materials are royalty!  Aside from being delicious, my mother's fruit cakes are known to be FILLING, SIKSIK, and GENEROUS in terms of its content.  I've just talked about SULIT in my past two blogs and my mother's fruit cake is definitely worth your money!

The skyrocketing cost of goods is definitely hurting small time enterprises like my mother's but thanks to places like Killion in Quiapo, the industry continues to thrive.

Killion is a Chinese run store which has been in operation like forever!   I remember when I was still a small boy when I used to accompany my mother in buying fruit cake ingredients---that was 25+ years ago.  Last Saturday, my wife and I went on an errand for my mother.  It was the first time in many years that I came back to that place and it still looks the same.  Well, with the exception of a couple of additional appliances (they didn't have cash registers before), it was the same old Killion!

Located at 40 Orozco St., Quiapo, Manila, Killion is a baker's version of Divisoria with their low priced goodies!  Of course, if coming from a far off place like us, you'd better be ready with a large back pack and an able bodied sidekick to carry the load (which was why I got elected to tag along).  Expect to meet other entrepreneurs while at the store and if you're sociable enough, you'll get free tips as to where other other baking paraphernalia can be bought for less.  

The Most Expensive Camera

This must be the most expensive camera around.  Can you tell why?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Taxis and Buses: What is SULIT?

Sorry, I just can't help it.  Call me paranoid but I guess once you start spending money you worked hard for, you always want gain the most out of it. 

My wife and I take a cab after doing our grocery and I would always take my sweet time waiting for a brand new looking taxi to flag.  My reasoning is that, "mag babayad ka na din lang ng mahal, e di pumili ka na ng maganda na mabango ang amoy at malamig ang aircon."  It just ticks me when I see an old and dilapidated taxi still plying its route!  My God, they're health hazards already!  The alone can already kill you!

I have the same philosophy when it comes to buses.  Dun na ako sa maganda, malamig at mabango!

Pizzas: What is SULIT?

I feel like Kris Aquino's son Bimby asking this question.  Let me assure you though that this entry is not all about milk. 

I was in a discussion with a collegue yesterday about the new pizza dough of Greenwich.  I am a pizza lover and I have come to taste most, if not all, of the leading pizza brands in the Philippines:  Greenwich, Pizza Hut, Yellow Cab, Shakey's, Sbarro, and Papa John's.  Taste-wise they have their own unique delectable taste.  Price is more or less the same also.  But are they filling to eat?  That's where the debate arose.  For me, it has got to be both delicious and filling to make it spending money on.  You should come out of the joint with a smile on your face and a full stomach.  That's SULIT!

My position in this discussion is that the Greenich thick crust pizza does not have heft to tank me up like the other pizza brands previously mentioned.  I once attended a meeting with Greenwich as the food sponsor.  We were served four 18" pizzas and honestly, if decorum did not get the better of me, I could have devoured a whole box in a wink!  Oh, it's delicious alright!  But if I were the one paying, I would have ordered from another and paid for three instead of four.  Now why is that?

Value for money is something that I always look for.  If you're the one toiling for the money, you'd always want to get your money's worth in everything you spend on.  You'd always look for durability, after sales services, long warranty, and other add ons that will provide you something extra.  Well, I can splurge on something (specially if it's a new eatery) just for taste but I won't do that on a regular basis. 

Greenich's dough is like pandesal in terms of texture and brawn.  In other words---it looks good but there ain't that much to eat.  I suggest you pick on their chicken instead.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boss: The New TV Series to Watch

After tow decades playing Dr. Frazier Crane in the sitcoms "Cheers" and "Frazier", Kelsey Grammer is back---but this time in a political drama series "Boss" under Starz cable.

At first, it was hard for me to accept seeing Mr. Grammer in a dramatic role but after watching the first episode of "Boss", he really is a convincing political figure with his gruff look, deep voice, and conniving disposition.  He kind of reminds me of Richard Nixon (except for the conniving disposition which is debatable).

In this series, he plays the role of incumbent Chicago mayor Tom Kane diagnosed with a degenerative neurological  disorder.  Determined to hold on to his office, he then keeps his illness from the public and is only known to his physician Dr. Ella Harris.  His closest political advisors Kitty O'Neil and Ezra Stone notices that something is wrong with the mayor but respects him too much to ask questions. 

On the personal front, Tom Kane is estranged from his wife Meredith and is with him only as a political show.  He has a daughter, Emma, a nun, who seemingly has her own demons to overcome.