Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Senator Sotto's Plight with Plagiarism

Yes, the intention was good (if you're an RH bill supporter) but I guess Senator Sotto has not heard the saying "the end does not justify the means."  

Downplaying plagiarism (because it is not defined as a crime in Philippine laws) is a low for Sotto.  The point of the matter is that the senator's speech writers went online and "copy-pasted" ideas from other writers so that their boss can sound erudite in his privilege speech.  

Plagiarism may not be a criminal offense but it is still an offense nonetheless.  It is a form of theft---INTELLECTUAL THEFT!  Singing a tune of a VST song does not constitute plagiarism because everyone knows who wrote the song but owning ideas that are not yours is something else.  However, does this mean that violations that does not have criminal liabilities can be broken at whim?  

To hear the good senator downplay plagiarism gives me shivers!  For a person of the law trying to justify a wrong is reprehensible!  Aside from this, Senator Sotto may have also forgotten the meaning of ACCOUNTABILITY.  Instead of apologizing for his writer's mistake he deflected by saying that he did not know about it.  Mr. Sotto, you are their boss and their mistake is your accountability.  Why can't you just MAN up and admit to the mistake and acknowledge those from whom your writers copied from?  Get down from your high horse dear senator!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Early Morning Companion

I woke up early this morning to prepare breakfast for the kids when at the foot of our bed lies Bob our pet dog.  It seems that my son Carl, who is his designated "amo", forgot to tuck him in when he went to bed.  Bob frolics in our bedroom whenever Colleen is there or when he finds our door open in the morning and sees Colleen still sleeping to wake her up.

As soon as I get up, he awakes and starts to wag his tail.  Well, waking up early can be very lonesome and having Bob there outside with me was a welcome change.  

Such loyal companion he was and no sooner that I got done with my "sinaing" Bob was in dream land.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Total Recall

Beautiful, sexy and deadly.  That's how Kate Beckinsale portrayed her role as UFB secret agent Lori in the movie Total Recall!  Never had I cheered for a movie villain like I had Ms. Beckinsale!  She was in relentless pursuit of Douglas Quaid/Carl Hauser (played by Colin Farrell) all through out the film; however, much that I didn't want Ms. Beckinsale to die there's no avoiding her character's  inevitable end. 

Anyway, it was a fun movie to watch.  It had the same plot as the one Arnold Schwarzenegger did in 1990 but different settings.  The 1990 version was set in Mars where we saw humans intermingling with alien life forms (the highlight of which was the three breasted lady) while the 2012 version was set on future Earth.  Why was also a three breasted lady in this version?  Logically it doesn't seem right.  But I guess it was a trademark of the 1990 version that can't be undone.  Otherwise, the writers may have envisioned three breasted ladies to be a cosmetic fad in the future.

Jessica Biel was also kick-ass!  Double reason for you to watch it!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Own Life-size Barbie

Whenever I see a dress I think of my wife.  Oh I know many of you have your eyebrows raised and, NO, I'm definitely not gay!  Well, I must say that I have a pretty wife and I like dressing her up!  Needless to say, like any other woman, she also likes dressing up.  So it has been our past time to go to the mall and scrounge for bargains.  Why buy designer dresses when you can have the same quality, fit, and style with the lesser known brands?  

Guess I got myself my own real life Barbie Doll!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sleep and Obesity

Before Wednesday, I was under the impression that the main culprit to obesity are poor diet and a sedentary life style.  Thanks to my problematic phone I got the chance to browse through a Men's Fitness magazine while waiting for my turn at the Nokia service center at SM Megamall and found an article about the relationship between sleep and obesity.

Apparently, late sleepers not only get the urge to reach in to the refrigerator for an extra snack but the lack of sleep actually short circuits the brain to thinking that you need to eat.  I'm a late sleeper.  On weekdays I only get 4 hours of sleep tops.  

According the study of Dr. Kristen Knutson of the University of Chicag, people getting less than 6 hours of sleep had a significant increase in body mass index (BMI).  Inadequate sleep tells the brain to the secrete more ghrelin, the hormone that spurs appetite, than leptin, the hormone that tells the body is full.  

Well, I took this study seriously and immediately made a vow to take enough sleep time.  The problem is that I keep on waking up at the middle of the night and then find it hard to go back to sleep.  I guess it's just a jetlag of sorts since my body is not used to sleeping long.  Another issue that came up was that my wife thought that I was in a way snubbing her the past couple of days and coupled by my defective phone we have not been able to communicate much.  Good thing we had the chance to clear that piece of misunderstanding today.  

Mental note:  Before doing any experimenting that would involve not talking to your wife---inform her first.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

.Sailing in a Rudderless Boat

Direction is key in getting to where you want to go.  This is the reason why a map is important in navigation.  Nowadays, it's GPS.  How can you go wrong with that?  However, the captain of the boat should know where he wants to go before setting sail.  Setting off without a travel route is costly and filled with uncertainty especially with the crew you are travelling with.  Unfortunately, crew members can only do the captain's bindings and go where ever path he wishes to take.  Now, if the captain is not the owner of the boat, such an  endeavor is a waste of money and resources.  Unless, of course, if you are leading an expeditionary trip to parts unknown. 

Basically, it would be like setting off in a rudderless boat.  Ika nga nila, "Bahala na si Batman!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Lesson in Decision Analysis

You were lathering yourself with soap when suddenly you lose grip of the bar and down it goes in the toilet!  What do you do?  Well I'll bet that the first thing you think of is "YUCK!"  That was my first reaction as well.  And then you think about what will happen if you don't dunk your hands into that shit hole...most likely you'll have a bigger problem of your shit not going down as it should.  So, what do you do?  If there are no floaters then I guess it's somewhat bearable and if you have gloves on it should be a walk in the park.  However, you don't have gloves on hand and for some reason you procrastinated in flushing your shit before taking a bath...I'm sure many of you will just say, "To hell with it!"  Deny to death when asked who was that stupid person who got the soap in the shitter!

Unfortunately, for those of us who is tasked  to be the household handyman---shit or no shit---should this  scenario ever happen during our watch the decision is already obvious.

Lessons learned:
1.  Flush your shit before taking a bath (makes the whole hand-in-toilet thing quite bearable to do).
2.  Cover the toilet while taking a bath.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The X-Factor Judging Flaw

First and foremost, I would just like to say that I'm not a fan of The X-Factor or any Philippine talent show for that matter.  Its just that my wife and kids seems to be into this stuff and I'm caught as the unwilling viewer.

What I don't understand about it is why the judges needed to have proteges?  Naturally, come judging time THE JUDGE WILL NOT VOTE OFF HIS OWN TALENT.  Biased is how I see it.  If it comes to the point when two talents under different mentors are picked by the audience to a stand-off judge voting is automatically split and it would be up to the two remaining judges to come to a unanimous vote.  

In my opinion, mentors of the critical two should abstain from voting.  Such a waste of airtime!  Naturally they will only have praises for their proteges.  For the two remaining judges, they are in the quandary.  The last one to vote gets the burden of the decision; however, no one has the balls to be the executioner and so the audience is given the final say.

Too much showbiz I must say!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ristorante Bigoli SM Fairview

I was introduced to an Italian eatery named Fazolli's in Eastwood by one of our vendor and I have gone there a couple of times after with my wife.  I loved their stromboli and lasagna!  However, when I went there again a couple of months ago, the place was no longer there and in its place was a new Italian joint named Ristorante Bigoli.  I did not try it then but when my wife and I was at SM City Fairview last August 18, curiosity and our grumbling stomachs made us decide to try it out.

We ordered for Doppio Deligioso.  The menu said that it was good for two and consists of 2 Italian Chickens, a platter of Spaghetti Bolognese, Minestrone Soup, Green Salad, 2 slices of cheese pizzas, and 2 drinks upsizeable to bottomless by adding Php 35.  Without the upsize everything came up to Php 390.  

This joint just opened a couple of days ago and if I were the store manager I would make it a point to make a good first impression.  Here are the Moments of Truth that made me decide not to go back to this place again:

1.  Upon our entrance to the store it was quite hot and smokey as if the exhaust did not work.  I almost backed away since such an ambiance will not be good for my asthma but the crew told us to take the inner seats where it was colder.
2.  I was suppose to get an upsize for my drink but their was no juice available.  When I went to the vendo machine to get our drinks, only two variants were available.
3.  I found the spaghetti and salad serving too little for two persons. People of big appetites beware!
4.  The chicken, while hefty in size, is hard to the bite.  People with dentures beware!  Me and my wife found them chickens too salty for our taste as well.

A saving grace would be the pizza---they were big, thick, and very tasty!  

Seemingly, the concept of this joint is similar to Fazolli's since they also have the complementary garlic bread going around.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Expendables 2

Stallone, Schwarzenneger, Willis, Lungren, Norris, Van Damme.  I grew up watching these guys play hero.  So putting them all in one movie is truly a coup to pull.  However, I feel that it was done without the spirit of logic.

Arnold and Bruce had cameos in the first movie so there's continuity there but the writer should have maintained the semi-villain role of Bruce.  Personally I like his sinister side.  Naturally, when he turned soft on Stallone's character, he somewhat lost my interest.  I have this feeling that the parts of Arnold and Chuck was forced into the film, especially with the gunfight at the tail end of the movie.  Chuck's character came out of nowhere at the middle of the film and wiped out a bunch of enemies (including a tank) in one swoop.  Although Arnold said "I'll be back"  when his character exited the first part, his re-entry is too good to be true when he came in the nick of time to the rescue Stallone's crew with a rock cutter.  

I'm not saying that this is not a good movie to watch---I did enjoy it.  It's just that I have this knack to over-think things.  

The writer put in comedy in the dialogues between the oldies sometimes quoting from their old films. Plus points with the on-screen chemistry of Jason Stratham and Sylvester Stallone.  They really make a good pair.  But I did miss the banter between Dolph Lungren and Jet Li (who was only in the first part of the movie).  When Dolph's character asks Yin Yang (Jet Li) who he's going to pick on after he leaves he says, "You'll pick on the next minority."  This he does with the addition of Chinese actress Yu Nan as the CIA tech agent Maggie.  Well, it's more like he wanted to hit on her.  Sorry Dolph this gal has a thing for Italians not Swedish!(so says the writer who happens to be Sylvester Stallone)  Yu Nan is a pretty lady with brass balls!

SM Mall-wide Sale, August 17-19

Filipinos are the ultimate BARGAIN mongers.  Expect that every time the word SALE is heard everyone seems to be honed in like a heat seeking missile!  So when SM announced its mall-wide sale from August 17-19 it was like a blood on water and a school of piranhas!  My wife and I went to SM Mall of Asia yesterday and  and SM Fairview today and it was packed!  The scene looked like Divisoria on a Christmas season!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things Happen for a Reason...

The sun did shine brightly today but the light in my heart dimmed by mid-day after I received an unexpected news.  

Our choices define our lives.  Sometimes certain circumstances forces us to make decisions that have this risk of biting us in the ass.  When that happens there is nothing else to do but to take accountability.  

Life lessons come in different levels of rocking our world and like a thief in the night---it comes when we least expect them.  One day you're all perky and fine and then---BAM!  Down you go.  I guess that's Newton's Third Law of Motion at work.

"For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Now I'm sad...

Good Day Sunshine!

A perfect song to sing today...


Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine. 
I need to laugh, and when the sun is out
I've got something I can laugh about,
I feel good, in a special way.
I'm in love and it's a sunny day.

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.
We take a walk, the sun is shining down,
Burns my feet as they touch the ground.

Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rainy Day Footwear

I leave my work shoes in my office locker and usually wear rubber shoes going to work and back home.  Well, walking the from Mega Mall to San Miguel Avenue can be a bitch with your leather shoes so why make the sacrifice when it's not even Holy Week?  It may not be smart-looking to wear rubber shoes with your barong---but I don't care---it's not your foot at a discomfort.

However, with the rainy season in full swing, I shifted to wearing my sandals to work. 


Friday, August 10, 2012

Bourne Legacy Movie Review

If you thought that Jeremy Renner is the new Jason Bourne---you're mistaken!  

Though the title of this movie was taken from the Bourne  novel, the story of the movie is nothing like the book and except for a news by-line---Jason Bourne is not even in the movie.  The movie's catch phrase "there was never just one" is a give away that this was not a Jason Bourne movie. This I found confusing.    Where does Jason Bourne fit in the scheme of things?  Apparently, the story follows the last movie Bourne Ultimatum where Jason Bourne exposes Operation Treadstone and Blackbriar and the aftershocks of this event.

Jeremy Renner plays a CIA operative who is part of an experimental program that aims to make super spies.  This program is put in jeopardy by the Treadstone and Blackbriar fiasco and orders to terminate the agents and the scientists involved was put in play.  Aaron Cross and Dr. Marta Shiering (played by Rachel Weisz) survive extermination and here begins their adventure.

My wife and I were suppose to attend the premier showing of this film at the Mall of Asia last August 8 but the bad weather did not permit us to go.  So I invite my wife on a movie date for some chilax time on a Friday night.  Well, everyone it seemed had the same thought and the SM Mega Mall cinemas were packed!  I'm sure that fact that the film's final sequence, which was filmed in Manila, had its influence with the overwhelming reception.  The collective "ahhhhs" when the first mention of MANILA was very noticeable.

The build up to the story's climax was nicely paced; however, everything suddenly went down from there and the film ended lacking in closure.  In other words---BITIN!  Well, I guess this is the beginning of another franchise in the making.  

I hope that the next sequel to this movie would be able to properly tie up the loose ends and please---don't Bourne in the title if you're not putting him as an active part of the script!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

G Tongi - FHM Philippines August 2012 Cover Girl

If you're a G Tongi fan and is looking forward to seeing more of her skin in the August issue of FHM Philippines---you'd be disappointed.  I just downloaded a copy and I must say that if you're thinking of buying this issue, don't.  Ms. Tongi's layout, while artistically done, does not provide the novelty of what makes a men's magazine.   

However, this issue does have its saving grace like Janarah Fox (if you like her), Jinri Park (but if you're a collector I suggest you buy her photobook instead), Berna Kano, Hazel Feliciano, and the separate FHM Pin Ups that comes with it.

There are interesting articles to read but let's face it---many a copies of FHM from "collectors" which lies in state without the articles being read.  So let's not joke ourselves when we say that we buy this magazine for the articles.

Si Monsoon at Iba Pang Kwentong Taxi

I set off to work this morning amidst the hard rain and the celestial lightning display and found myself hiding underneath a tree.  Keeping in mind what my wife told me about the lightning's attraction to the color RED I decided to forego my regular red umbrella and red jacket (true or not, it's better safe than sorry).  Normally, I'd just be one jeepney and bus ride away from work but as expected, in such weather condition, I had difficulty finding a jeepney to get me out of the subdivision.  Deym!  I've already exhausted my emergency leaves so I bit the bullet and hailed the first cab which passes by.  Well, actually I let pass two since bulok sila.  I was hoping to alight at my usual bus stop but I notice that there were no buses in sight.  Double deym!  Magastos ire!  So I munch on the bullet and tells the taxi driver to just go on ahead to San Miguel Avenue in Ortigas.  

"Buena mano po kayo!"  says the driver as I settle at the passenger seat and I say, "Kailangan kumayod e."  To which he replies, "Pareho po tayo.  Pag di ako bumiyahe e mapipilitang mangutang ang misis ko sa tindahan---kung magpapautang."  Hmmm...I was actually swearing at the government's decision not to declare a NO WORK day for private business and I realize that by doing so, public utility drivers will find it hard to get fare if everyone stayed at home.   Pangs of guilt envelopes me and I just look at the gloomy sky and say, "Let's bring it on!"  

Mamang taxi driver was tuned in to an AM news and the anchor was interviewing DOST USec. Mario Montejo.  When asked about the weather forecast, Mr. Under Secretary says that "weather will be intermittent with occasional thunderstorm."  I'm not sure where this guy lives but on our end of the metro we had continuous rain since yesterday and what seemed to be and "end of days" downpour early this morning which almost made me decide to just skip another day of work.   Hays!  Iba talaga pag nakatira ka sa bahay na di binabaha at sound proof that you're oblivious of what's happening outside!  

The commentator then shifts to discuss about the Employee's Compensation Commission (ECC) ruling regarding the "bunkhouse rule" which states that "when the employee is required to stay in the premises or in quarters furnished by the employer,  injuries sustained therein are in the course of employment regardless of the time of its occurrence."  The other day, some of my people had to go to work since we had a deliverable to meet.  I instructed them to finish up and go home so as not to get caught up in the various transportation problems connected to the bad weather.  Unfortunately, two of them got stranded mid-way and my immediate advice is for them to go back to the office and get shelter from the elements.  However, this rule may not sit well with other companies since in the accountability standpoint it would be best to just let them brave the weather.  Hindi MAKATAO, I know---but that's a reality in business.  Me, I'll sleep well knowing that those under me are safe under my watch.

Thirty minutes later, I arrive at the office, pays my fare and thank Manong Taxi Driver for deciding to set off in this ugly weather.  "Paano pauwi?"  I ask.  Bahala na si Batman!

Thank God public transport was back when I went home this afternoon!  Yun nga lang---umuulan na naman ngayon. :(

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Story of Noah

With the amount of rain that is being dumped on the Philippines right now I remember the story of Noah and the Ark.  

I'm not sure when the rain started falling but I pray that it does not last forty days and nights because that's how long the rain lasted after Noah and his family closed the door of the ark.  After which it was 150 days where there is no sight of land and a full year before the surface of the earth dried out.  I shiver at the thought of this ever happening again!

Ironically, what's happening right now is not even a storm but only a monsoon rain.  However, it has so far broken the rain fall released on us by typhoon Ondoy in 2009.  

Coincidentally, the date today, 080712, happens to be part of the story of Noah found in Genesis 8:7-12.  Creepy ain't it?  Nothing to be worried about though.  This verse actually tells us that there is a rainbow after the rain.  Hence, I take it as a sign of HOPE.  Besides, God made a covenant with Noah that He will never flood the earth again.

Let us trust in God's promise and pray that the rainbow will show tomorrow.

Be safe everyone.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Harold Robbins meets Stephanie Meyers---that's what I thought of E.L. James' novel Fifty Shades of Grey.  

Harold Robbins' book The Pirate gave me my first experience in terms of erotic novels but that book pales in comparison to what E.L. James had in her novel.  

Originally an offshoot of a Twilight fan fiction story that James wrote, the relationship between Anastacia Steele and Christian Grey is unmistakably Twilight-ish in intensity.  But instead of the supernatural nature of Twilight's romance between a vampire and a human, James' book dwells on the relationship between a Dominant and a reluctant Submissive.  It's a BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism) book all the way.

The topic of BDSM is not mainstream; hence, the book received mixed reviews.  It becomes a commercial success nonetheless and surpasses Harry Potter as the fastest selling paperback of all time.

Personally I'm happy for E.L. James (Erica Leonard in real life) but I'm rather disturbed that many of the book's followers are teenage girls.  In my opinion, this book should only be made available to mature readers and not openly sold to the public.  It may be reminiscent of Twilight but it's borderline PORN.  It's like promoting BDSM among our youth.  Something I do not subscribe to.

My 20 year old daughter asked me to buy her a copy and I oblige not having read it yet, but after 22 chapters I'm having my regrets.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

My Mind Museum Experience

I had my first Mind Museum experience last July 26.  This was actually part of the Lenovo event I attended. I must admit it was a welcome incentive for me since I have heard so much about this place.  It was like grade school once more when I eagerly anticipated our field trip to the Planetarium and the National Museum.  Actually, I dreamt of becoming a scientist during those times and was into reading books about the universe, space exploration, geology, human evolution, and dinosaurs.  Then came puberty and my thoughts got misdirected somewhere else.

Anyway, being in the high end part of the Metro, I had big expectations about Mind Museum.  At Php600.00 for a 3 hour tour that has got to be one truly worth while experience...UNFORTUNATELY, not for me.  Allow me to explain.

I was put off at the get go.  Upon entering the gate, I noticed an acrid smell of a lavatory that needs cleaning.  I took a quick sniff at myself and found relief that it did not come from me.  My other companions commented on it as well so I guess that validates it.  

It was not really all that bad.  I did get awed by the talking robot Aedi who welcomed the visitors.  I also enjoyed the galleries like The Story of the Earth which featured the very first T-Rex exhibit in the country, The Story of the Universe, and the various interactive displays at The Story of Technology.  

However, it all went downhill after we watched the creation of the universe.  It was still early in the tour and it was in a theater where everyone would be watching lying down.  It was cold.  Nice. And it had a cushioned floor with a pillow to rest our heads on.  Double nice!  It was conducive for a nap.  However, we came in with our shoes on and I can just imagine how much grime has accumulated since that morning's visitors.  Asthmatic that I am, dust exposure automatically triggers a sneezing or itching spell.  A couple of minutes after entering the theater, my eyes starts to itch---it was unbearable!  I was literally in tears after the show and then the sneezing starts and before I get home, I'm already with a slight fever.  I was down for four days.

I'm not sure if my next feedback was due to the increasing irritation I was feeling with my upcoming asthma attack but I did not feel comfortable during the 3D showing.  The screen was concave and so the theater---which had no seat---only had a cylindrical platform you were "forced" to sit on.  I say forced because I don't want to be looking up watching the show but the guard insisted that we need to seat and so seat I did and just like I thought, it was uncomfortable.  In fact, I was sick of looking up I stopped watching all together!

 Oh well, good thing that the tour was free!