A hypocrite will save the environment…

A couple of weeks ago, I had an interesting exchange of argument coming from one of those who commented my Facebook note (linked from my blog site). My then FB friend digress from the main topic, Dead but not gone which is about Cory Aquino, and the discussion went from good to bad. It ended with me being implied as a hypocrite. Ouch.

It started when I said that I’m just hoping that confettis won’t be used during the funeral as consequently this symbol of honor, respect and even sympathy will end up as garbage on the streets and finally, will clog our already restricted, if not full, drainage system. Sadly, my concern about its effect to the environment was fully misinterpreted. If it was out of ignorance or just the then overflowing emotion about the late ex-president’s death, I don’t know.

Being called a hypocrite is unpleasant no doubt, but that discussion hit me like a loud wake up call. True, I do things that contribute to the environmental problem – drive a petrol-powered car, buy and consume non-organic food, wear synthetic clothing, uses cleaning solvents that may contain hazardous chemicals that contaminate our waters, etcetera. But do I have a choice? Like many others, the answer is most likely no. But can I do something about it? The answer is a big YES.

Im likewise bringing my mug to school (whenever possible) - save on Starbucks, save the planet.

I'm likewise bringing my mug to school (whenever possible) - save on Starbucks, save the planet.

Right now I swear to step up from what I’ve been doing already – garbage segregation even if I’m quite sure the garbage collectors pile them up the truck among other wastes; making sure that our car is in tip-top condition; minimize the use of electricity; conserve water; and other things according to the 3 R’s – Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

 

Fix that leak with Fluidmasters fill valve replacement kit.

Fix that leak with Fluidmaster's fill valve replacement kit. Photo: http://www.fluidmaster.com

To walk the talk I started it last saturday when I brought along a sandwich to school without the plastic wrapper and foil, and instead placed it inside a Tupperware container which is reusable. And just today, I fixed a defective toilet fill valve even if it means I’d be spending out of budget, and to mention being sweaty and dirty during the whole installation (although it took me just 10 minutes to do it). So there goes. I’ve somehow gained something out of that FB argument and will try to see what more I can to do to save the environment…and avoid once again being tagged as a hypocrite. Ti abi.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (talked to 3 YM contacts…)

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Accounting took over blogging

 

Eight weeks ago I was expecting my self to fill my need to blog with gusto. Obviously it didn’t came to be that way since I soon got myself pretty occupied ,just like I’ve mentioned before, with so many things (except for work). For the past few weeks it was all about Accounting.  

If my recently spreadsheet-crammed mind serves me right, I already made it a habit to turn off the TV immediately after I get my daily dose of local prime time news. From that time on and almost until midnight, I’m hunched over my thick Manegerial Accounting book and syllabus booklet trying to solve every exercise and problem. The only time I’d have a break is during my regular peek at my Facebook’s and Twitter’s page (which I soon learned to fully ignore during the last few days). And among my nightly routine of course is filling my mug with hot coffee and making one for my wifey who’s usually watching her favorite (but my hated) telenovelas in the room, surfing the net and while watching over our sleeping baby boy all at the same time.

Somehow, and thankfully, all those efforts made me understand more about this subject matter that I’m actually starting to like it already however late – last Friday was our last session and the final exam paper will be submitted after two weeks. So tomorrow, just after two days of taking a break from seeing rows and columns of numbers, I might be back to our dining table again, analyzing one company’s income statement hoping that those nights spent studying will result to something fruitful. And sooner of course, I’d like to put everything to practical use because knowing the concept is one, applying it is another.

***

What amazes me though is that while I’m away from blogging, my page marcuscanblog.com still gets hits after hits as if I’m blogging the way I used to be. Nice, huh. To those who made it possible, thanks for dropping by.

***

I think I forgot to notify some of my blog visitors that I finally decided to use the domain marcuscanblog.com to replace crisn.wordpress.com (although clicking or typing this URL will direct one to marcuscanblog.com) since I got tired and hopeless making it work with my supposedly self-hosted blog (from GoDaddy.com). It’s not that I’m quitting and letting a couple of thousands of 2-year subscription fee get lost in the world wide web, but I’m taking time off trying to figure it out. I might get another domain instead as soon as I find time to do it.

 

 Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Personality traits and another farewell party

“At least you’re a happy bum” – from my Managerial Accounting professor

 

Exactly 1 week ago during our TSLEADER class, we had an interesting topic about Enneagrams. For those who don’t know about it yet, it is just among the many tools that identifies and classifies an individual’s behaviour. And while our professor was discussing about it and each of the nine personality traits it comprises, I began to remember my previous co-supervisors and scribbled names according to his/her dominant trait.

Each trait in the Enneagram is indicated by a corresponding number and each are grouped according to how and where the behaviour most likely originates from. (It also tells which personality one isn’t aware of and might be able to develop through self-awareness.) For example trait numbers 2,3 and 4 belongs to the heart; numbers 5, 6 and 7 belongs to the head; while 8, 9 and 1 personality traits coming from the “gut”. Here are the names that immediately came to mind for each trait numbers.

 

Heart people

Personality Type

Type Description

Fears

Name

2. Helpers

Likes to help others

Of own needs

Cris (that’s me)

3. Performers

Craves for success

Of failing

Dave

4. Artists

Considered unique and creative

Of being ordinary

Edna

Head people

5. Thinkers

Always see the need to understand the world

Of being overwhelmed

Amor

6. Skeptics

(or Questioners)

Range from reserved to outspoken.

Of being abandoned

Jojo

7. Enthusiasts

Happy and open to new things

Of being deprived

Rix

Gut people

8. The Boss

Strong character. They usually don’t care as long as things gets done

Of being weak

Lie

9. Mediators

Avoids confrontation that’s why they’re also know as the peacemakers.

Of separation and conflict

Cocoy

1. Reformers

They like everthing done the right away. Also called perfectionists.

Of being imperfect

Lei

 

***

By some strange coincidence (well, I consider it that way) last Thursday, I was called by “The boss” informing me about a hotel dinner with the rest of my ex-colleagues. Other than the immediate appeal of the word hotel plus dinner, I soon felt excited at the thought of seeing once again the faces behind the personality traits. I said yes without further ado just before I hung up the phone.

***

 

Team 2 in Renaissance Hotel

Team 2 in Renaissance Hotel. Front (L-R) Edna, Rix, Rhia, Lie, me. Rear (L-R) Tammy, Alfred, James, Cocoy, Nedie, Amor, Lei.

 

And so as planned, yesterday night I find myself together with most of the Team 2 supervisors and our manager (with her hubby Mark). We started the reunion with a buffet dinner at the Renaissance Hotel’s M2M area wherein the group’s exuberant demeanor and excited exchange of stories and laughter dominating the warm and elegant place.

 

Merk with Monday nights performer Silk & Steel

Merk with Monday night's performer Silk & Steel

 

Stuffed after almost tasting every variety of food from the buffet tables, the group decided to have some beers at the nearby Greenbelt 3 mall. We settled at the Merk’s Bar Bistro where we caught the acoustic band Silk & Steel playing. We also must have been lucky last night because we saw the actor-comedian-owner Richard Merk. According to him, it’s been almost five months since the last time he dropped by the place.

After a couple of hours getting entertained by the guitar trio, where Merk joined and rendered some great songs as well (I never knew that he’s a good singer until last night), we capped the night (or early morning) by having coffee at the Starbuck’s coffee shop along Macapagal Avenue where sobering up with a hot Americano before the trip back to Cavite became a regular routine for several night outs I have attended since then.

 

Now you know why his personality trait is 7.

Now you know why his personality trait is 7.

***

Last night’s gathering was actually a farewell party for those leaving this time as part of my ex-company’s (funny, but I still haven’t got used to writing the prefix ex) third retrenchment phase. Despite always feeling and talking as-a-matter-of-factly about the whole retrenchment thing, frankly, I find it really sad to see more people going out thus leaving fewer employees behind until the next phase and until the (ex)company finally ends its Philippine operation this year. Well, that’s life, huh?!

 


 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (TSLeader class cancelled today)

 

 

 

 

Learning from two inuman

While I was in high school, I have this scroll hung up in my room: 

If we drink, we get drunk

If we get drunk, we fall asleep

If we fall asleep, we don’t sin

If we don’t sin, we go to heaven

So let’s all drink and go to heaven.

I never knew what it meant then (just like any other framed messages we once had) and I never knew that someday, it will be one of my favorite poems. I don’t know who put it up on my cabinet’s door: if I get the clue from the word drink, it might have been my older brother or father; if I get the clue from the last word, heaven, it could have been my mother. Whoever it was, I owe you one.

***

Yesterday, I had another drinking session in my wife’s place in Batangas. I was with the usual suspects, my brother in-laws. The session went on as predictable as it always was – bottle of beer, pitcher, tagay glass, pulutan (finger foods) and stories that goes along with all of it. Everything went perfectly well as if a script was followed but not until before everyone called it a night. One of my in-laws suddenly said, “Cris, sensya ka na, lagi kaming ganito, maingay…at pansin ko tahimik ka lang lagi (I apologize, if we are always like this, noisy, but this is just the way we are…and by the way, I always notice that you don’t speak up a lot).” It was a drunken remark, but I smiled back and answered nevertheless.

Kuya, ok lang sa akin, sa totoo lang gusto ko lagi nakikinig sa usapan kasi natututo ako (It’s okay, in fact, I like listening to such conversations as I always learn from it),” was my reply, drunken as well, but well meant. It is every time that I get the chance to join them in their inuman (drinking) sessions that I get to know them better and especially how they live their everyday lives; that no matter how humble it is, they seem to be contented at the end of each day. More so, I always secretly admire how some of them, married and with kids, and with just enough income still manages to make both ends meet. All these interactions make me put myself in their shoes, sober or not, and ask myself, “kaya ko ba maging katulad nila (can I be just like them)?”

Well, until now, I can’t seem to honestly answer that, although I hope I will, soon enough, with a confident yes. I know it’s a tall order for me to adjust to that level of contentment, but I think I need to before it’s too late. They say that man is never contented, but with each drinking session I spend with my in-laws I really beg to disagree because if there’s someone I’m so envy at right now, it’s not the rich but it’s the contented. Cheers to that.

***

I had another drinking session just last Tuesday but this time it’s just the complete opposite of the Batangas setting in so many ways. I was with several perfect strangers, classy place and perfect ambiance with free good food and beer. I was in Rockwell Club Makati.

What’s more interesting about that session was that it’s a class activity wherein we were allowed by our professor to stay with our group, have dinner outside the campus but with just a couple of conditions: discuss our life book among our group mates and just come back sober.

I was with a diverse group made up of a military major, someone close to the Manila mayor, a Chinese expat, a BPO personnel (who sponsored the free dinner) and a bum – well, that would be me. It was quite an interesting exchange that although there’s an obvious difference between one another’s story each was able to somehow relate to it – the struggles, the challenges, new experiences, having connections, etc. (It was during the class wrap up that we all learned what was common – Feelings. Simple yet, very well true).

An hour and a half later we were back to the classroom with me following our professor’s first condition but violating the first. Hahaha. Isn’t MBA fun?

 

 

(Posted from Sn. Vicente, Batangas)

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

 

 

 

 

Humbled by the ROI

 

During yesterday’s Management Accounting class, when our professor said, “Class, just a reminder, make sure that by the time your reach your STRAMA defense, you should already know what an ROI is all about.” He then added, “…because if you don’t, it’s either you are bobo (dumb) or your teacher was.” I was amazed at the remark but at the same time smiling because I was telling myself, “ROI lang pala…I’ve been dealing with it for years when I was at work.” That smile though was short-lived.

Trying to check if someone can at least explain what an ROI is, the professor asked the class. I confidently raised my hand and said something like, “…well, it’s a sort of measurement to justify if a project is feasible or not and when the a money invested into it will…” I was cut short by our professor, this time he’s the one smiling.

He explained that ROI (or Return on Investment) is a debatable indicator, thus should be avoided, in business and that it is more appropriate and more meaningful if an accountant would rather present using ROE (Return on Equity) or ROA (Return on Asset) just so to be exact of what is being actually measured. But whichever one prefers to use, ROI, ROE or ROA, none of these is presented using time as its resulting unit but rather in percentage. 

Feeling uneasy about it, I approached him during our break time and I explained that to justify a project at work, we are usually asked to have an ROI of three years, for example. Eager to make me understand, he said that the correct term for such measurement is payback and not ROI. And after showing to me the difference between payback and ROI, I was enlightened…and humbled. Man, it really sucks to relearn, huh?

 

***

Tonight, I did my own research and true enough, he was right. Check these links:

http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/methods_roi.html

http://www.bnet.com/2410-13240_23-66470.html

***

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

 

Thanking the pirates

 

If you’re thinking that I just turned coat because of the need to save and having no choice but to patronize illegal softwares, we’ll I’m not. It’s just that the feeling of being free and having so much time to kill got me into trying how to create a facebook quiz last night. Pathetic isn’t it?

What I find funny though is that this time I feel like making a quiz with pure Filipino words which I haven’t done since then. I rarely use tagalog because I feel I’d more prone to grammar errors than composing something in English. In fact I kept on asking my wife for the correct spelling of some of the Filipino words. So last night’s experiment was quite entertaining and somehow I was able to release my Bob Ong alter ego. Hahaha.

Unfortunately, the quiz didn’t run as I expected it to be. I don’t know if I missed it, but I saw several issues with facebook’s create quiz application. I tried looking for a button that would let me preview and test my own quiz first without having to publish it prematurely; I also wondered how I can put just two choices even if I have four outcomes; and as much as I’d like to keep and fine tune it first, sleepiness crept in and consequently, my judgment and perfectionism gave up – I shamelessly published the half-baked quiz with me being the only person enjoying the result…as if I don’t know it yet. Ti abi.

I’m not sure if I can resolve the problem with the application, but I’m sure that I’ll be asking a lot of newbie questions in the developers forum…and most likely, will later feel bad how stupid of me to miss such simple things. Anyway, before I forget (and receive hate emails for not doing so), I’d like to give credit to the following Flickr Creative Commons users who shared their nice photos which I used in the Anong klaseng pirata ka (What kind of pirate are you?) quiz:

Capn Madd Matt

Phoney Nickel/Tiffany

Deep Shot

Extra Medium/John Mueller

Orangegeek – I can’t find this user anymore but I’m quite sure I grabbed this pic from him but wasn’t able to use it immediately. So if you know this Flickr user, please try to inform him about this.

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Part II: Thank God it’s Final

Since I have finally decided to migrate from Blogger to WordPress, I’m now transferring some posts which I made exclusive in my blogspot account. Good thing there are just four posts for now and luckily these are just short ones.

These posts will belong to a new category which I will call Out of the Blue posts. This category will basically contain brief posts which may be short reviews, photos with short captions, product comments, TV ads review, light bulb moments, etcetera.

As of this moment I’m still trying to figure out how to work around GoDaddy.com as I’m having some difficulty installing WordPress 2.7.1 which is supposed to be done in jiffy as documented in WordPress.Org’s 5-minute installation handy guide.

I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, although the possibility is high, but I’m now dealing with something alien. Right now my mind is crammed with things like MySQL, PhP.net and other database and web hosting-related stuffs. I’m up to the challenge for several compelling reasons like making sure that I don’t waste the USD83.82 I paid to get this web host.

I also have sent an email to GoDaddy’s customer support team. And the weird thing about it is that something in me is trying to make me dial their 1-800 number out of curiosity if their customer service agent follows the inbound call flow. Hmmm, it seems like today’s customer service training is still haunting me, huh. Well, I’d like to get even now. “Hello, thank you for calling GoDaddy.com. This is Mr. Smith, how may I help you?” Better be ready Mr. Smith, I’m gonna be an irate caller. Hahaha. Just kidding.

***

Just yesterday, I also added another category called Learning and this one will be about training, seminars, studies and other similar things related to my continuous quest to learn.

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!