Restaurant City, I’m yours

Mafia Wars stay back. I now have a game I started just to read from my Facebook friends’ status. During those days, I smirk when I see someone asks for tomatoes, cheese, flour, etcetera. Who cares? Losers. Such a waste. 

Then I heard our MBA professor confessed that he and his wife got addicted to it. Bah. Fad. Peer pressure maybe. Soon enough I discovered that a number of my first term classmates play while trying to kill time during a break and some even during the lecture. Slackers.

Then I saw my wife playing it. Well, let her be. She deserves it, that’s her break. Not me. I’m not playing that SIM-like game…ever. Period. And with such firm stand, I was able to let go of the thought – besides I’ve never peeked and got interested what the game is all about anyway.

Several days and weeks passed, and thanks goodness, I’ve never heard about “the” game. And then guess what? One day, a classmate borrowed my netbook. I was wondering if she’s about to do me a favor by typing accounting-related formulas and answers for me. And before I know she asked me if she can play Restaurant City. Uh oh, it’s that game once again.

This time however, I paid a little bit of attention. I’m now more curious what grabbed almost everyone I’ve known to play the damn game. A couple of moments later, she showed me that she assigned her real boss to be just among her resto’s staffs. That to me is neat. That to me is sweet revenge. I became an instant fan.

Now, it’s more than a week since I started playing this restaurant simulation game under my wife’s coaching (she’s either celebrating or swearing she got me into this game). Since then I’ve left my netbook a couple of times running for fear of not earning points. I’ve checked my virtual staff almost every 3 hours or so to see if they need “rest” or “food.” I’ve sneaked between school work and baby duty to see if the resto is still clean. And just this morning I woke up from deep slumber because of the sound of the strong rain and one thing that immediately came to mind is if my online restaurant is flooded or not. So in the wee hours of the cold morning, I logged in and checked. Well, I was thankful that it’s not. Ti abi.

Oh before I forget, chances are, my 6th staff will be my ex-boss. A cleaner duty will be perfectly right I guess. Hehehe. Just kidding. But then again, I just might. Blame those I’ve mentioned above just in case. Hahaha.



Mood: 4/10 Honks! (tomorrow is D-day!)

The prancing horses are limping

The recently concluded Spain F1 race was once again disappointing, well, at least for a Ferrari fan like wifey and I; and of course, for the rest of the Tifosis. Needless, to say it’s more disappointing for the Ferrari team itself whom I’m quite sure has high hopes this season to start it with a more convincing performance to make sure that it stays at par with team McLaren and grab not only the constructors’ championship but also the drivers’ championship – an which Massa missed to take home after McLaren’s Hamilton scored points on the last race of 2008 leaving Massa behind by just one point.

This season though, McLaren has its own share of dismal performance and in fact the 2008 driver of the year had to settle for 9th place during yesterday’s Spanish grand prix. Moreover, its second driver Kovalainen even retired during the early part of the race just like Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonen. With these results, fans like me now wonder what is going on within this more experienced teams that this year, they haven’t challenged team Brawn so far.

What makes this even more interesting is that team Brawn is a new kid on the block amidst the F1 big boys. Team Brawn was formed by Ross Brawn (an ex-Ferrari big boss) after Honda decided last year to permanently take their hands off the prestigious Formula One race due to several reasons that were hounding their team, one of which is the obvious non-performance – even just compared to it’s Japanese counterpart, Toyota; and of course as an effect, corporate sponsors probably stopped renewing their contract, which during the on-going recession a loss of even just one major sponsor is a big blow especially to a team who is engaged in one of the most expensive sports in the world.

Honda’s pull out was quite a surprise, although rumors about that decision had already spread around the F1 community. And that for a moment, left both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, basically jobless (but still millionaires nevertheless). Then came Ross Brawn to the rescue. I don’t know what actually took place or if Ross Brawn has anticipated everything that he was able to start up the whole team (engineers, R&D, mechanics, sponsors, logistics, etc.), but whatever Ross Brawn did was all perfectly executed. Proof of that? Brawn has been winning since race one and its driver, Jenson Button stepping up the top position (with Rubens Barrichello, at some point) of the podium without any of last year’s champions either on his right or left side. And to think that Jenson was never seen in the podium in 2008 (or so I think).

The on-going success of team Brawn is what makes every follower and/or fan of F1 wonder what is making this newbie zoom past other matured teams. Was Honda cursed then and did Brawn’s entry to F1 casted the bad eddies away? Is Ross Brawn some kind of F1 magician who adopted and turned a dying team into one team to beat by just a flick of its magic wand? Or is it because his team’s most contested and controversial double diffuser a very big factor which is leaving the competition behind? Whatever that is, it is just making the prancing horses (and the rest of the teams) to start limping behind.


Don’t get me wrong, although I now have all my respect and admiration for team Brawn, I’m still a Ferrari fan especially now that I won’t be any guilty cheering for a team whose one of its major sponsors is AMD. Go figure.

And by the way, this blog was edited while getting my car washed at a Shell gas station in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. Which reminds me to get one more of the Ferrari toy. Hahaha. 


Mood:  3/10 Honks!

Learning spirituality from a boxer


One thing is certain today and until a few more days ahead – everyone will be talking about the recently concluded Pacquiao versus Hatton match in Las Vegas. Of course, the Brits will be cursing, while we Filipinos will be full of pride and praises for the Pacman who overpowered and humbled the Hitman just before the second round was finished, leaving all doubts that the last Pacman versus Golden Boy match last year was won just because the latter wasn’t at its peak performance anymore.

However, while almost everyone was getting ready with this fateful match, I on the other hand felt something when I saw Manny Pacquiao enter the ring and perform his routine in one corner by kneeling and bowing his head in prayer at least for several seconds despite the excitement of everyone around and inside the ring. I’ve watched almost all of Manny’s match wherein he got victorious over his opponents; and every time the camera captures him in prayer, I question the sincerity of his action. I always wonder if this is just for the show to get sympathy and support from his fans or if he does pray fervently for divine intervention during all of his boxing matches.

Well, my realization about Manny’s display and declaration of his faith in God was somehow confirmed today just like how he confirmed his superiority over other boxers he’s been paired with. The doubts I had about his faith were erased today. I realized that if there’s one good example of how the saying “Do your best and God will do the rest” applies to real life, then it is very well exemplified by the best pound-for-pound boxer.

The Pacman’s discipline to endure months of rigorous training in preparation for a boxing match and his willingness to trust his coach – Freddie Roach – and taking every opportunity to hone his skills are proof that on top of being faithful and submitting to the will of God, he still makes it a point to do whatever he can on his end and probably letting God fill in the voids that he may have missed. That to me is active spirituality, and I really hope that this aspect of the Pacman will inspire everyone to follow suit.

I am a boxing fan of Pacman, I’m now a believer of his spirituality as well. And while I know that it is highly unlikely for this to personally reach him, I’d still say my own, “congratulations Pacman! Once again you made us proud!”


Mood: 2/10 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!

Lenovo S10 is it


The box...

The box...

What started months ago as just as a (one of) wants to have a replacement for my company issued laptop eventually became a need. And after careful review and consideration of several laptops and netbooks it all led me to just two choices to pick from: HP Mini 2140 and Lenovo S10.

These two netbooks if compared spec by spec is almost very similar to each other. Each has its own appeal though like the HP Mini is much hyped for its keyboard size, which I agree that it is indeed its strongest advantage among the other mini-laptops of the same price range; the Lenovo meanwhile has IBM behind its back to make almost everyone familiar with it to trust the Lenovo’s quality without any doubt. It is these hype and appeal that made it harder for me to pick between the two. So what was the tie-breaker that made me pick the Lenovo over the HP Mini? It’s the battery capacity.

...the contents (I havent read the manuals yet)...

...the contents (I haven't read the manuals yet)...

At first, to be honest, I was about to choose the HP Mini just because I think it looks better than the Lenovo. But when I learned that the Lenovo has 6-cell battery vs. the HP Mini’s 3-cell battery, I decided that it has to be it despite having a higher price tag of Php24K+(USD500). Paying Php1000 (USD20) more for an extended battery life I think is just fair enough.

There are obvious things though that has to be dealt with since there are laptop features that are not available in netbooks because of its compact size. Like most netbooks, the Lenovo S10 has no optical drive which I don’t know yet if it’s still possible to watch videos coming from CDs or DVDs by transferring it to a USB thumb drive. I’ll find out soon.

...the user. Actually, hes more of a QA tester.

...the user. Actually, he's more of a QA tester.

Currently, I’m also trying to adjust to some keyboard keys (especially hitting the right shift key) orientation although there’s not much significant change in my typing speed – I think I’m still at around 50 wpm. Likewise, the small touchpad area and the left/right buttons that feels a little bit hard (I don’t know if it’s because it is still new) isn’t much of a big deal either; thanks to almost a year of dealing with my previous company’s Ergonomic Advisor that made me get used to keyboard shortcuts.

This Lenovo small wonder is just two days old and I’m quite sure that I have months ahead to test and explore what it is really made of. Right now, I’m enjoying using it as so far it has met most of my expectations. Hopefully, it stays up like one good friend – through good and bad times. “Welcome home, my blogging buddy.”






Mood: 2/10 Honks!



Glad to be troubled


The installation that is supposed to take me five minutes has unfortunately reached its fifth day. The other day I was so excited when the browser loading status bar past half-full without displaying the 404 error but soon enough all the excitement dissipated when I saw that instead of the expected WordPress log-in window, what appeared was one line of Chinese characters. Well, thank you for that GoDaddy but I neither speak nor even understand Chinese.

Looks easy, huh? Well, its me.

Looks easy, huh? Well, it's me.

Anyway, so as not put to waste every effort (and the USD 83 subscription) I’ve spent already with this ambitious migration, I’m now considering this as a challenge with the end goal of making my own domain work as soon as I can. Looking at the bright side, however, the only consolation that I can find here is that at least I now have something to make myself busy in the next few days by importing and exporting files, looking for new themes, and most likely tweaking some settings that best fit my new site, plus some other related things that may come along. Well then again, that all depends if the good people of will soon find a way to fix the server error which started 24 hours ago.


On top of this blog migration, I will be also occupied with doing a video for some people whom I’ve previously worked with and who will still be working at Intel Philippines. I actually thought at first that they have ditched the idea of having this video or (worse) of having me to do this for them. Surprisingly, while I was already preparing myself for the imminent last day in office, they called a meeting on Monday to discuss all about it.

Needless to say, but once again I became so excited since it has been quite sometime since I made one. In fact, I was so eager to do it that despite having the option to skip work yesterday, I went to work mainly because of it. I now can’t wait to get all the materials (photos, videos, etc) that I’ll need.



Mood: 2/10 Honks!

It’s all downhill from here


Photo by: Marielle

Photo by: Marielle

March 30. Thirty days from now, I’ll be among those leaving Intel for good. There will be no turning back. If a decade seems to zoom by, this one for sure will be very very quick. The only thing that will make this period drag is the absence of work but I’m quite sure that the daily interactions I will have with my peers, friends and even bosses in the next days to come will be cherished more than before.

Like someone on a bike, the sight of a sloping down road sends mixed feelings. There’s the feeling of celebration, excitement, anxiety, happiness and relief. Yet despite all that emotion confusion, it’s what and where you finally set your focus during the descent that will determine how everything around you will matter. It’s either you curse the rough road and quiver at the seemingly frightening speed; or you appreciate the rush of the wind and enjoy every beautiful scenery as you pass by. It’s all your choice. But whatever that is, it’s really all downhill from here.

See you all at the bottom. Hopefully, we’ll all be drinking lemonade by then.



Mood: 4/10 Honks!



Photo credit: Marielle



It’s just two and half, and yet almost everything has happened so fast.

Friday. We went to the beach – it was Marcus’ first. The weather was crazy as it was forecasted to be one hot sunny day. It indeed looked like it in the morning but just before we left the weather changed. It shifted from sunny to gloomy. Fast.

We pushed through anyway. And just more than an hour later we were at Munting Buhangin beach in Nasugbu, Batangas – 80 km. away from home. Quite fast considering I was driving defensively. It may be because of the well paved road – at least just before Munting Buhangin where it was muddy, rocky, and steep. Or it may be because I was expecting that some of my colleagues are already waiting for me. They weren’t.

With the absence of the group, lunch wasn’t what I expected it to be but I still had a good time – with just the three of us. Watching our little baby frolic on the sand and being with him to enjoy his first dip in the water is just worth every time.

We left just a couple of minutes after my colleagues and bosses started arriving. They’re staying overnight. As much as I wanted, I just can’t. I have an exam the following day.

Saturday. I was up very early in the morning and this time I wasn’t blogging. I was preparing to leave for Ateneo Rockwell.

By 7:45 am I was in a room sitting with a group of serious looking men and women. We’re all taking the entrance exam for Masters in Business Administration course.

The exam was in two parts. Part I was English and math. I think I did well in English. But I think I did otherwise in math. Part II was very new to me. I never had such exam before and interesting as it may seem, it was one hard, migraine-inducing 100-item 40-minute test. I never noticed the time. It flew so fast. Results will be on Monday. I’m not expecting to pass.

I was home just past noon. By the afternoon, we were out. After dropping wifey at Intel, Marcus and I were left to our own devices. Out of the blue, I decided to pay his godfather a visit for the first time. Luckily, he was at home but they’re preparing to attend mass. At least, he and Marcus met albeit short and fast.

After killing time in front of the Jollibee statue of a nearby mall, and wondering the whole time if Marcus was having a conversation with his current favorite figure, we headed back to pick up wifey. We then headed to the mall. Marcus needs new pair of shoes. He has damaged his third footwear and the new one was of a bigger size. He’s growing. Fast.

On our way out, we dropped by a computer shop to check the HP Mini. They have slashed its price from approximately Php 21,000 to Php 18,000. In a matter of weeks it has gone down. Fast.

Sunday. Today is the first F1 race for 2009. It’s in Australia and we’re now watching it live on TV. Now this is fast.




Mood: 4/10 Honks!

Earth Hour, anyone?


I was attracted to this thought-provoking blog and my curiosity got me reading it. Despite being a self-declared environmentalist and a greenpeace wannabe, I seem to understand where the blog’s author is coming from – she’s fed up with all the hypocrisy and hype. What I find funny though that after reading the blog I noticed an unlikely ad that should not go along with the radical post:

Say what?

Say what?

Ads are insensitive, huh?


Last year, I supported this campaign. The only thing left at home with the power ON during the 1-hour period was our refrigerator – having spoiled food is anti-earth, just in case you don’t know. This year (or tomorrow), I’ll commit to support it once again. I still believe that instilling awareness bit by bit by to everyone is a good start to saving our beloved Earth because we actually don’t have a choice, do we? It’s way better than doing nothing. As one line goes, “let’s change, or the climate will”.


I have one guilty pleasure which I’ve been wondering if it’s anti-earth – watching F1. And a day after the Earth Hour is celebrated is when the F1 season begins. Isn’t it ironic?



Mood: 2/10 Honks!

Blogger: my first blog from my email

How cool can it get? I know this isn’t a breakthrough, but it’s one of the good, if not the best, Blogger features that I discovered last night just after I decided to retire. This morning I tested the Mail2Blogger coming from my Yahoo! account. And to my absolute delight, it worked! My test post reached my Blogger account and appeared as a draft.

Good morning Bloggers!
This is just a test blog coming directly from my Yahoo! email.

This is my equivalent of the programmer’s Hello World – this is my test email sent directly to my’s draft page.


And this is how it is done in Blogger.coms dashboard.

And this is how it is done in's dashboard.


I immediately became a fan of this email-to-blog feature because since my addiction to blogging stepped up I’ve been quite unforgiving to myself when one idea slips away just because I failed to write or draft it right after it has popped out of my usually occupied mind – which recently was all about what to do after my last day in office. So thankfully enough, I now have another reason to stay away from the temptation to blog while sitting idly at work – pun not intended but so unavoidable.

Yes, believe it or not, I haven’t published one blog while at work (one of my blogging ethics that I always try to follow) even if I now have lots of time to do it. But so as not to fully deprive my craving for blogging, I do the following instead to take note any precious ideas as soon as possible: either I write keywords on my “paper” notebook or I send an email to my personal email which often contains nothing but a subject and if sometimes with a body, it is just composed of unrelated words (yet). It’s when I’m home that I retrieve it for proper composition and then for posting (or publishing). The problem with this practice however is that sometimes my personal email’s inbox would be so cluttered with other emails that I’ll soon be distracted from looking for the blog draft. In the end the main purpose of sending one is just defeated and needless to say, it’s another wasted idea.

So with the availability of the Mail2Blogger feature I’m now at least certain that all my blog draft emails will go to where it is really intended and where it can be opened, expounded, edited and finally be published as another blog post. I now can’t wait to use this blogging tool. I now at least have another good reason to go to work – other than foosball and facebook. Ti abi.



Mood: 3/10 Honks!