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29 February 2008

A Day Every 4 Years

Today is February 29, 2008. It only occurs every four years during leap year when there is a Feb. 29. I really didn't take notice to this day as an extraordinary day. February is unique in a way that it is the only month with 28 days. It's uniqueness extends to the fact that every leap year, it's the only month with 29 days. All the other months have either 30 or 31 days which doesn't make them much spectacular in that manner.

Today, I also get to celebrate my monthsary with my sweetie. Yes, it falls on the 29th. And so, suddenly Feb. 29 has meaning since we won't be able to celebrate it for the next 3 years. Now I realize that there must be people whose birthdays or anniversaries and important occasions fall on the 29th of February. They must have to settle to celebrate on March 1, or a day earlier on February 28.

Either case, leap year now has meaning for me. Happy leap year !

28 February 2008

Wall Parking

I'm particularly careful in parking a car. Being a bit obsessive-compulsive, I really make it a point to be within the yellow lines in a parking lot. I'm accustomed to parking facing the wall too.

And if I'm beside two other cars, I see to it that the tail end of my car isn't as exposed to the street. So if some car happens to get out of control, my car is shielded by the two cars beside me whose posteriors are longer.

Early today, I parked at the nearby mall and when I got off, I was surprised to see the Pickup parked beside me literally an inch away from the wall. I wouldn't let my car go that near to a wall. (Did I mention that the other side of the wall happens to be a 3 story boarding house ? ) There is no room for mistake here if the driver happens to put the gear in reverse. I can understand the Pickup is a much longer vehicle than other standard sized cars.

I think parking lots should consider having a section for medium to large sized vehicles especially with the proliferation of SUVs. Their sheer size and built occupy more than the allocated space of standard parking spaces and sometimes even takes extra space off of other car's parking space.

I'm just happy I haven't experienced parking beside a monster truck yet.

26 February 2008

Traveling With Ease

I guess I don't travel that much because I'm not accustomed to having most or all my belongings not within reach nor available at my convenience.
But when I travel, I don't want to bring everything I have including the kitchen sink. I'd rather pack only the essentials and travel light.

Problem is my idea of "the essentials" is a lot and I may eventually end up bringing a lot of stuff. So tough luck for "traveling light".

In past out of town trips though, I've come to appreciate
Value Hotels in the Philippines and the service they provide to travelers. They provide your temporary but complete "home" away from home. Most of the amenities and services they provide are enough to make traveling more convenient and worry-free.

I remember that when our family didn't check in a hotel and instead opted to stay with relatives, we had to bring more than the usual like towels, toothpaste, some food and had to abide by my uncle's house rules which meant "lights out by 10pm". I was forced to sleep early but the eagerly hungry mosquitos and humid temperature didn't make it an easy night for me. The next day, we also had to buy some food for all, since it would be embarrasing not to show any form of gratitude.

I have nothing against my relatives and their hospitality for letting us stay for the night. But if we had only checked in a hotel, we wouldn't have the need to pack bulky bath towels, come back to the house at a given time, and sleep early against our will. We would even be able to watch some movies on cable and only had to provide for our personal eating expenses as opposed to an entire family in addition to ours.

Value Hotels in the Philippines cater to just about anybody: a foreigner touring the vicinity, friends flying in or making an out of town trip to attend a wedding, people who were caught in midtrip transit looking for a place to sleep for the night or even a family planning for a weekend getaway.

Whatever it may be, the convenience Value Hotels in the Philippines offer is truly worth checking out.... or should I say "checking in"... the hotel.

25 February 2008

Featured Blogger on Manila Bulletin for Feb. 25

I hope everybody would be able to check out the article on Page D5 of the Technews section of the Manila Bulletin today, Monday, Feb. 25, 2008. My sweetie Aileen Apolo is the featured blogger occupying a third of the page. I'm so proud of her.

If you don't have a copy of the article, here's the online version courtesy of Manila Bulletin.

Trivia: I took the pic of her on the header screencapture.

18 February 2008

Carnapping

How ironic would it be if this car got carnapped ?

Blank MRT Cards

The Metro Trail Transit (MRT3) is one of the faster modes of transportation around Metro Manila. Due to its popularity though, long queues have emerged from the sheer bulk of people wanting to arrive to their destination faster.

The long lines in the ticket booths can be avoided though by buying a prepaid card which you can reuse until all credit is consumed. The lines entering the station though are unavoidable as you go through the aisle inserting your card through an ATM like opening and returns your card in another opening verifying your card and letting you enter the station.

There is only one way how to insert the card. It's with the side with the hole on the card to be inserted first with the card design facing the person. If you try inserting it any other way, it won't be accepted. My problem lies with the new (or old, depending on how you look at it) cards being used by the MRT.

The cards used to have the president's face on them. Some had commercial designs (Samsung phone ads, and other various designs). Aside from the visual appeal, this helps you determining which is the front and which is the back. The last time I rode the MRT, I was handed out a blank card. One side was white and the other was black. I couldn't tell immediately which was front and back. And I'm not too keen on making a mistake entering the MRT terminal especially with a long line of people behind you expecting you won't hold up the line.

I wasn't the only one who made a mistake. I saw other people in the lines next to mine asking security which side is which.

I'm not sure if these cards' design have faded through time, or if MRT is just cutting down on printing expenses, but the least they could do is have a sign or arrow showing which side is front and which side is back to lessen the number of mistakes people would make and eventually make the entire process more efficient. In addition, it's embarrassing to make that mistake when dozens of people all around you are doing it correctly when the difference is just a matter of having a printed card as opposed to a blank card.

Wireless Keyfinder

I saw this device in a store last week. It's labeled as a wireless keyfinder. There are two components to make it work. One is a key chain with a chip so it can be detected electronically. The other one is the detector. You press the button and it will make the keychain attached to the missing keys emit a sound and blink (I think) which will make the keys move apparent as to where they were left.

I was impressed with the gadget... for about 30 seconds... until I thought of this scenario...

"What if the keyfinder is missing instead of the keys ?"

And

"If you lose the keyfinder, but not the key chain with the keys, you can still survive because the important thing is you have your keys with you, demoting this gadget into a mere key chain."

So lesson is...

Don't buy this. Just...
ALWAYS REMEMBER WHERE YOUR KEYS ARE.

16 February 2008

Tekken 6 !

I was in Glorieta 3 weeks ago waiting for my sweetie and while killing time, I passed by my favorite past time place, Timezone. While going around, I saw a huge group of people watching a video arcade. Curious about what the fuss was all about, I approached the crowd only to be surprised by a newly installed game in the video arcade, Tekken 6.

The most striking upgrade to this version on console was that it was sporting a flat wide screen similar to the plasma TV units. The graphics were of superb quality on the wide screen. Aside from that, there were a lot of new characters to choose from and locations to play.

Being a Tekken player with limited skill, I was just happy watching the players challenge the computer. I thought I had seen it all but was flabbergasted to witness a bonus level where a nearly invincible humongous robot named "Nancy MIS47J" was the fighter.





Let me know what happens if you beat this android cause I wanna know what's the bonus.

The week after, I was at Mall Of Asia waiting for sweetie when I checked out the Timezone branch there which had Tekken 6. Since there weren't any players around or people watching, I summed up the courage to play. I got through 3 levels and I must say, overall, it's a great and exciting game. Despite the large selection of characters, I'm sticking with my favorite character, Nina.

And as a self-induced adrenalin rush, I got to the final stage of Tekken 5 using Nina. Woohoo !!!

12 February 2008

Anticipation

I saw this sign in a restroom door in the Super Bowl restaurant, Glorietta, Makati.

It seems like it's telling you that you won't be able to open this door on your first try if you don't put any effort into it.

OR

You need to eat a lot in their restaurant to have energy to push the restroom door.

04 February 2008

Brock Lesnar Debuts on UFC

I rarely watch UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship but the main reason I watched this particular event today was to witness the debut of former WWE Superstar, Brock Lesnar on UFC.

On a sidenote, Brock really looks like Rocky Balboa's opponent Ivan Drago in Rocky 3.

I was pretty impressed with his physique and massive built yet agile and impressive with his wrestling moves during his stay in the WWE. Lesnar dominated the wrestling scene. Since then, he's entered the NFL and now, he's into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

His opponent was former heavyweight UFC Champion Frank Mir. Both of them had something to prove in the ring - it was Frank's comeback after a motorcycle accident and Brock is getting intense heat from dedicated UFC fans who think that Brock has no business to be in the octagon. I could feel the pressure for Brock, since it was a make-or-break situation for him to give a good first impression of his MMA skills.



The match was quick and intense. Too bad it ended in 90 seconds. Brock clearly overpowered Frank but Frank, being the more experienced UFC fighter, submitted Brock in a quick kneebar.

I'm looking forward to more of Brock on UFC.

03 February 2008

USB Massager - My New Gadget

I passed by the computer shop today to buy a new mouse for my other laptop. I didn't plan on buying anything else until I saw this.


It's a USB-powered massager. It looks like cross between a UFO and a baby rattle in a spongy casing. It has a powerful vibration. And when I mean powerful, I mean that I placed this massager on my cheek and it made me think that my monitor was flickering. Oh, it wasn't. It was really the massager rattling my entire head.

A word of caution though: it's power hungry too... it sucked up the power of my USB mouse rendering it frozen on my desktop till I turned the massager off (and replugged my mouse). Better to have it plugged on a dedicated USB port rather than on an adapter sharing other USB devices.

These are one of those things that you don't really need but since it's a hi-tech gadget, you just want it. I saw it online being sold for USD $17.98 but I got it at CDR-King for P100.

The other gadged I'm eyeballing at is the USB mini refrigerator which can house a softdrink can. Isn't that COOL ??? (insert rim shot here)

You can check out the USB massager specs here.
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