Oh my gash

Scratches, scratches, and more scratches. It has been more than a month since I have been dealing with lots of it, left and right, front and back. Some of unknown reason, some almost obvious. The most recent is a huge scrape on my front left bumper which I noticed after we returned home from watching Batman V Superman. It is the nastiest so far since we had the car as applying rubbing compound just didn’t fix it this time.

A close inspection points to only one culprit–the wall perpendicular to our parking space. When the snafu happened wasn’t immediately clear though. Initially, I thought it was on our way back–it was my first time to back up into the tight space on a night time plus Marcus kept on annoying me with his series of questions about Batman, past and present. However, things begin to fit like a puzzle the next morning.

Curious where the bumper actually hit, I checked my sister-in-law’s wall again when I gave Marcus a stroll in his wheelchair. Nothing was obvious at first, the wall and its paint seem intact just like after I checked last night.

A few seconds of head scratching (that word again) soon pointed to a tell-tale clump of gray paint. I felt like Frank Hardy. The scrape shows that the bumper made contact on my way out which explains why a guy at the car wash where we stopped by before proceeding to the mall asked what happened to the car. I dismissed his inquiry, didn’t even bother to check the car, thinking he was referring to a damage on the rear door–one that happened more than three years ago in the same area but due to a tree’s fault.

So it wasn’t Marcus after all. My ego scratched.

I do cringe at this new unsightly mark on my front end but I know that I’ll get over it soon. It’s just like how it was with some other scratches made by envious neighbors, playful kids, careless shoppers, disappointed beggars, reckless bikers and motorcycle riders and cats, dogs, and chickens included. Name it, the car has it.

The bright side here is that I had something to draft at a parking lot while waiting for someone. I offered to drive for my brother-in-law and his family for the wedding they attended to this Easter Sunday which by the way is the main reason I decided to leave the house and have the car washed on the afternoon the car scraped the wall–and the very next day after I said the car survived unscathed its week of being parked in a tight space. Spoke too soon. Ti abi.

***
Not all scratch stories are the same.

The day we moved into our new house, we observed details that seem off: the windows’ screen frames were interchanged; bits of screen were in the sliding window’s rail; a portion of the wall had uneven gray patches; and, the front door had scratches on the bottom part. All seem to be hints of sloppy workmanship showing up. But it wasn’t.

We soon learned that someone left the dog unnoticed inside the house and it eventually panicked and tried to escape and made a total mess like the Tasmanian Devil. Fortunately, help was available in short notice and everything was restored somehow. The dog now stays just outside our front door serving as our own sentry.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Back online. We now have internet connection.)

Parking Confusion

Isn’t it strange that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear but they are actually farther when seen through the rear window?

***

I am done reading Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic (How We Drive) and I have already drafted a book review which I wrote on my Starbucks 2012 planner (Finally, it has been used, however, late).

***

Mood: 3/10 (Noontime. Tipsy. Experimenting with blog post format.)

Of Dead Batteries And Good Samaritans

Ever had one of those problems wherein you search the internet and the only solution you’ll find is one that seems absurd? Well, I got one lately. This is about the mysterious case of our Honda City which happened right after its battery got totally drained at the NAIA 3′s parking lot. Inexplicably, the car’s driver side window stopped its automatic function even after the battery has been fully charged. I tried moving it up and down thinking that it has gotten stuck due to being left idle for more than half a month but the futile exercise didn’t solve the problem. The following day, I also opened the door panel in an attempt to see the window mechanism but I was prevented by the Honda’s complicated door design plus the thought that I’d do more harm than good.

Frustrated, defeated, and embarrassed by the fact that this is supposed to be one simple problem normally solved by a WD40, I googled for an answer before going to bed. As expected, Google presented me with various answers but only one caught my attention. About.com’s Honda Power Window and Locks Fix Fix was the most brief–it only suggests 3 quick steps:

  1. Switch off Ignition
  2. Set intermittent wiper set to middle position
  3. Switch ignition back on

Even if the website mentions that this process is meant to reset the MCU, I was doubtful that it will work so I slept that night with just one question, “How can an intermittent wiper be connected to the window?” Even so, the solution proved its worth the very next day. Just after doing the abovementioned procedure, I was shaking my head in disbelief when the automatic window came back to life like some mechanical Lazarus. I tested and then re-tested the window and yes, the ridiculous solution does work.

***

My recent experience at the NAIA 3 parking, although I expected the battery being drain after leaving the car at the parking lot for weeks, gave me some important lessons:

  1. Park the car in a position wherein jumpstarting would be easier. For example, do not park facing the wall since this will require you to push it all the way back so it faces the “battery source” car especially if the jumpstart cable is short. Good thing I parked mine this way, else it would have been a longer night for the three of us.
  2. After jumpstarting the car, it is best to leave it idling or drive for an hour before totally shutting off the engine. I learned about this the hard way, when I turned the engine off just more than ten minutes since Albert Sebastian (who I soon learned is a reporter of Radyo ng Bayan DZRB) assisted me at the airport’s parking lot. Good thing, the crew of McDonald’s where I stopped pushed my car to a nearby Total gas station where another total stranger by the name of Jet didn’t hesitate to help me jumpstart my car again.
  3. Take note of Motolite’s 24-hour delivery number just in case you need further help – like a completely dead battery. Motolite’s Anytime, Anywhere Delivery number is (02)3706686.
  4. Last but not the least, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Some may reject you but others ever willing to help will be there soon.

 ***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I will need to find a helmet for Marcus. He had his first fall from his new bike this afternoon.)

School parking

It’s my 2nd term already in Ateneo Rockwell but it is just lately that I decided to avail of the school’s parking mainly because of one thing – avoid the Powerplant Mall or the nearby Starbucks. No, there’s neither a threat of the dreaded AH1N1 nor an occurrence of carnapping incidents. It’s just because I’m trying to save. Period.

Despite still having a parking fee just as much as in this classy mall, parking in Ateneo have kept me for two weeks already from frequenting the Dunkin Donut shop inside the mall or the more pricey Starbucks just across the street. Now I’ve been going to school with a mug (bearing my ex-employers logo) filled with home-brewed Peets coffee and sandwiches or any other bread to go along with it – in short and in plain Filipino, “nagbabaon na ako.”

My Ateneo parking experience though have been quite funny and scary. On my first day, as I reach the first basement level, I was so glad when I saw the area with about 3-4 more vacant spaces. I was thinking, “this isn’t bad…so only few people do bring their cars to school.” And so I hurriedly maneuvered myself to a spot near the elevator (access to the building) where the vacant slot is between two SUVs. Perfect. But just I was about to turn my engine off, I saw this bold sign on the wall: Dean. Law. My goodness, I’ve just occupied the spot reserved for a Dean. Of course, if that title isn’t as intimidating, the next word below it made me scram out of the area and into the crammed third basement parking.

Today is another story. Every Saturday I have a morning class and so this morning, just like the past 2 weeks, I was already in Rockwell, Makati before 7 am. This time though, I drove directly to Ateneo instead of the usual parking in front of the restos. I was the first student to be inside the parking basement. And upon reaching the student’s parking area I was surprised to see myself in a dimly lit and almost deserted area where if I could have been on an MTV, I would have seen Jacko and his posse jumping out of each column ready to start the video of “Bad” – well, good thing I wasn’t. And as if the thought of Jacko dancing around isn’t scary enough, the way to the elevator puts me this time into a Dawn of the Dead scene. Imagine this: I can barely see my way thru and what guided me, and what are just visible, were just my cellphone’s screen illumination and the flickering red push button of the elevator still a few meters ahead. Next time, if get to school this early, I might have to park back in front of the restos and see if I can resist the temptation of the coffee with the green round logo. Ti abi.

***

My recent parking experience made me think, “Is it only Intel that doesn’t have a reserved parking space?” If yes, I’m now missing it more this time.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Ending on a Monday

 “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays” – Bob Gelfof and Johnny Fingers

“I hate Mondays” – Garfield

 

Yesterday was the weirdest Monday that I can recall…so far. Here’s why:

  1. On my way to work the discussion over the radio was about an episode of the Oprah show where she approved of her guest’s suggestion of having to introduce teenage girls to the vibrator – and to mention that several Filipina girls called agreeing to such. I now wonder what else I’d hear this morning.
  2. The parking lot was already full when I arrived. If my memory serves me right, it’s been months since it has become one of the deserted place in our company. For a moment I actually thought that our company isn’t closing after all. Hahaha. Wishful thinking, huh.
  3. I’m starting my first day of the week listening to one of my most hated things to do – selling (outbound call center account) – and which for some, weird, reason I ended up enjoying the simulation activity. Isn’t that great? So does this mean that I do have the potential to sell?
  4. Lastly, after reading one farewell email coming after the other, it has finally dawned on me that this is my last week at work, together with other identified employees. It now feels I’m starting to be sucked into the deep void of the bumhood black hole.

Well after conceding to the fact that this is really it, I had to excuse myself from our call center training just to compose my own farewell message. Here’s what I wrote in haste:

Friends and co-workers,

This is my last week at and I’d like to say the following: Thank you, Sorry and Goodbye.

Thanks. For the wonderful years I had with every people I work with. Thanks to my past and present mentors, colleagues and subordinates. Rest assured that every encounter I had with each and every one of you gave me experience and knowledge, and it has made me a better person than I was years ago.  Of course, I would like to thank my very recent group who welcomed me like I was already one of the experienced engineers – I really appreciate that. Thanks for the opportunity.

Sorry. I apologize to those whom I might have offended in one way or the other; it’s just some times the word constructive doesn’t come together with confrontation. And while I’m at it I’d like to say to those who have offended me (or at least they think so) as well that I won’t be leaving with any hard feelings.

Goodbye. I’d like to say goodbye those who are yet to leave – whether they like it or not. And lastly, I’d like to say good luck to everyone whether you’re continuing to Vietnam or be pursuing a different life after Intel.

Keep in touch. See you around folks.

Although I hate the fact that it isn’t a resignation letter (I’m still yet to write my first), I sent it out of course to almost everyone I’ve worked with; but like one lit up fuse flickering slowly towards a barrel of explosives, I became sentimental, somehow, about the whole thing while I was already on my way home. All of a sudden I find it ironic that at the start of this week is the beginning of the end of the long years working for what I’ve known as a great place to work. Hasta la vista Intel folks.

***

I figured later in the day that the reason why the parking lot was full is because some of my co-workers are already processing their clearances and some brought their car along with them.

There also was a job opportunity expo which was participated by a number of companies and probably the representatives parked their vehicles ahead of some of the employees like me; and this is one thing that will be missed by most because if there’s one company that doesn’t have reserved parking slots, it would be Intel. “Sorry boss, you’re late…go park somewhere.”

***

The sight and feel of yesterday’s job opportunity expo was unexpectedly great – may be because there isn’t much crowd unlike in the malls. The participating companies range from several business franchisors to cater to those who have finally decided be entrepreneurs; the ever familiar semiconductors were also present for those who haven’t got enough of the manufacturing environment; and of course there were call center companies which lately have become one of my interests. Well, Isn’t that great?

Ready for the call centers?

Ready for the call centers?

 

 

 

 

Mood: 4/10 Honks!

Baby parking

I was browsing through my pictures and saw this. Taken on the day Marcus visited SM Mall Of Asia for the first time. “He” parked his stroller here. It’s funny that the parking sensor indicator turned red. If there’s any mall that’s baby-friendly, this is it. *LOL*

 

 

(originally posted on my blogger site)