Thursday, October 29, 2009

Updating device drivers and Globe Tattoo

I can't really blame Globe. It just happens to the best of us, what more with a choppy network that's undergoing servicing? Besides, I was downloading a 110MB file.

I was trying to update the device drivers for my video card. Seeing that it is having problems running some programs (i.e. Left 4 dead), I decided to update the drivers. Lo and behold I had to update Java too, that took me 20 minutes (because of the disconnecting, reconnecting wasting 5 pesos-ing). After updating my Java Runtime environment I had to do the scan with Nvidia. It told me to download this 186 file so okay I downloaded it. Wonder of wonders it's 110MB big!

110MB in the age of DSL and Cable and what have you is a minuscule file. You can download that in a few minutes. Unfortunately, for a wireless broadband user like myself I have to bear with the frequent disconnections that occur and the slow speed. So I decided to wait for an hour and a half. 50 minutes into the download firefox tells me that the source file cannot be read. What the hell does that mean? I'm 58% done with the damn thing! So I have to close the download and just blog about another experience with wireless. :(

On top of all that, I'm using tattoo prepaid. So every time I connect I automatically spend 5 Pesos for 15 minutes. I stay connected for an hour or more that's 20 pesos already. I only have 70 pesos left.

I had written two paragraphs worth of text before posting this. Globe decided to disconnect as I was posting it. No draft was saved... Wonderful. I love it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FINISHED!

I'm done with school! Hopefully not dead done. Just done until the next semester comes done.

I'm going to write about big government and why it's so scary with what's currently going around.

Public Office is a Public Trust as the 1987 Constitution puts it. Government is there to serve the people and be accountable to the people. There would be no government were it not for the people's will.
I recently had my car registered in one of the LTO branches. Though, the current service is not something I could pick on, there was still a palpable air of corruption hanging around. The LTO was ranked as one of the least corrupt government agencies, as it so states in LTO TV. I spent just an hour in the LTO. You just have to have the complete set of papers at hand.
Government can work efficiently if it chooses to. However, as I mentioned there was still a stink of corruption hanging about. In one of my classes, it was said that corruption is good because it means progress. There are people who can pay the officials off to facilitate things. In my opinion this is generally true, but if the government will be more pervasive then I think that progress will be restricted.

As I was exiting the office along with my aunt the stencil guy came over and was asking something. I didn't pay any attention to him knowing that he'll just be seeking a reward. It is his job to go on the ground and stencil my car's body number. Why should I pay him more for services he'll already be paid for.

It would be okay to pay if you got some additional benefit from his services. If for example you're assured of a 30-1 hour waiting time for the release of your registration why pay more when you can wait it out? The release time will be the same anyway. The attitude of the stencil guy is what makes me afraid of Philippine government getting bigger. If I'm supposed to pay all the government officials or employees I encounter for something that they're supposed to do, then I might as well not register any vehicle, any business or any property. If I do register with them and I have to pay off each and every employee at every step of the way then what'll be left for me?

I have no qualms about Big Government. The main problem right now as espoused by my father is the fractured system brought about by the Local Government Code. Instead of the LGUs coordinating with each other, each one is trying to do something they're not good at and end up stunting the whole region. Every barangay, municipality, city and province will be trying to outdo each other, instead of coordinating their development plans and goals each will be competing with one another and each will be implementing their own ordinances that would cause great confusion with transients and residents alike. There must be some form of central plan that will not leave the LGUs room to be at odds with each other. One LGU must be a residential area and it must maintain roads and railways on its end, at the other side of the border another LGU must maintain the roads and railways on its end matching the effort by the other LGU.

Take a look at all the infrastructure laid out in communist countries. The streets are wide, the parks spacious and green and the landmarks imposing. Look at our roads, railways, parks and landmarks? Ours are pockmarked with neglect.

Another drawback with big government will be the time it takes to get things done. If with the current system you find that it's taking too long, imagine if you have to centralize everything. Again if you're going to have to pay people off, having a centralized system means that fewer people to go through although it will take longer because not everyone might get a piece of the pie they feel they deserve. Further government intrusion and regulation into the daily lives of the public will expose the people to more chances of being extorted.

Big government will be inefficient and clumsy. The current system was meant to meet the needs of the citizens in a given locality. Having a central body responding to the needs of the people even in far flung areas will greatly increase reaction time. Having to project their presence through several thousand kilometers where they might not have enough resources ready will slow down a government agencies ability to react to contingencies. A possible solution to this would be putting people on the ground.

Which leads to my last point (hopefully not) on the matter. A quote I keep hearing whenever I play civilization IV is "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy". It means that as government involvement expands so too must the mechanisms that government employs. If an agency will employ an additional 10000 people then that additional 10000 people will have 10000 people's worth of files in the CSC, GSIS and other agencies that they will be forced to go through before being able to work for the government. It would create a very unwieldy apparatus for running the country. It will strain government resources that could have been diverted to other projects.

Going small and fractured versus going big and clumsy will each have its concomitant pros and cons. Though there is no pending legislation or action anywhere to change the system I think it would be best to give a second to the idea of changing the apparatus.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finisihed well not quite

I'm almost done with my most punishing semester to date!

23 Units!

Thesis Proposal and Outline and Adviser Form!

I'm almost done just have to print out the thesis hopefully the printer downstairs will work! :)

Congratulations to those who deserve it!

Noteworthy mentions!


Algaventures winners of the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards

who is elyoo

Congratulations!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thesis Writing is for the Dogs!

I'm having a horrible time writing a thesis proposal. It's due on Monday. Today is Saturday. I have to look for a thesis adviser who can read it on Sunday and sign off on Monday. Damn it!

I never really made a thesis. Back in college all I ever did was do business plans, proposals, case studies etc. But nothing as exhaustive as a thesis. Business plans required a huge information gathering effort but most of the sources you'd need are current sources from the internet. In a thesis I have to hit the library, look for old laws and what not. All my prior works have been more on the side of breadth instead of depth. Thesis writing might involve both!

Thesis writing is for the dogs!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

For the whole of September...

I didn't post anything for the entire month of September. Maybe that's why I've been going stir-crazy at home.

Anyway, I'm trying out the Globe Tattoo prepaid. The promo is it comes free with a laptop and a printer. So there I know have one too many printers at home and an expensive internet account (Php5 for 15 minutes). The amount, incrementally may seem cheap but with how I like to go on the net every few minutes it will pile up.
Also you can't reload the damn thing via laptop, you have to use the SIM (that's already in your USB) to call the 223 number and follow the voiceprompt. :( Stupid, stupid.

I heard Sun's wireless is good! I mean wireless broadband. It's reliable and fast. The Globe one that I have is kind of slow at times. At least it's free :)

I wonder what program will improve my productivity next? (Note: it's 0 at the time of writing)

School's out but I'm still in!

The semester has officially ended, for most at least. I'm still stuck at home, forced to study more than 100+ pages of international law readings. On top of that I have to make a thesis proposal in 5 days.

I don't feel the out of schoolness yet. In fact, I don't want to feel out-of-school.

I also saw one of my older friends a few days ago. He told us how it was to practice outside of a law firm. Sounds kind of adventurous but I don't think that'll be for me. He's ended up in so many places because of being his own man when it comes to the practice. I'll get there someday soon!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The rat

A large rat crawled from the refurbished portion of our yet unfinished house into the old part. It went in like cowboys enter saloons, swaggering, bristling for a fight.

Normally, I would move to ignore such creatures of God as they invade my space. My thinking is if they let you be, you leave them be. As Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and National Geographic have shown us for the past years, animals are more often than not portrayed as vicious by the media and by our imagination but are more than ready to flee than fight.

This rat possessed not the meek subservience that other creatures of God show when confronted with homo sapiens. This one entered sniffing about, probably suffering from all the cement and concrete powder billowing about in our house. This one was different, this one was waiting to get its ass kicked.

Unfortunately, before I could grab the nearest broom and whack it, it had disappeared. I reported the incident to my mother and she reminded of the old stories with rats, snakes and other animals.

If you don't kill it, it will come back for you.

Not just come back in the sense that it'll be physically present. It will come back and pop caps up yo' ass! These creatures she says seem to possess the ability to remember who or what attacked them and exact revenge on them. So it should be killed in one deft stroke, or several amateurish but forceful and violent blows.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

F*ck my life

If you don't know fmylife.com is a good time consuming read if you aren't doing anything yet. :)

Go and read it.

Today, I decided to cook dinner for my wife and kid. After a long day of preperation and cooking I asked them what they thought of it. My 12 year old son then says, "I would say it tastes like shit but not even shit tastes this bad!" My wife then laughed and gave him a high-five. FML
08/21/2009 at 10:29pm by NoCookForYou

I like this one. There're so many fmls to choose from.

Nice. Read it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

directory of posts January

Since I'm bored and have nothing much to do...

I'll make a recent directory of my posts and try to summarize everything. Writing something that makes sense is hard to do, especially after brutal examinations.

I've been using blogger just this year and I've been quite remiss in writing. :(

Anyway, for January...

A new blog!

Is my first blog entry using blogger. I found a little learning curve switching between i.ph in A Friend Of Wisdom and blogger.


A Brave New World

I was reading Huxley's book at that time. Which I found on the internet. I also forgot where I found it so I'll have to look for it again. I haven't been able to get in touch with Anna P. recently about her copy. It's been a busy year.

Pushing for change

Is an entry displaying my views on change in the Philippines. It's a short and not too well researched piece, taken from other blogs and tv pieces. And yes, there is still no long run in the Philippines.

A Tale of Two Blogs

My first confusion as how to write for A Friend Of Wisdom and Fides Quarens Intellectum

MUTO

Taken from wits it's a short film posted on youtube. Very artsy. :)

To school or not to school?

A post on how tiring the daily grind is, and how useful enduring the daily grind of law school will be in the future. Thankfully I no longer have to live with the lousy 12 noon schedule and instead will have to deal with those erratic make-up classes at 10am and wait for a few hours before my regular schedule kicks in.

Van Gogh art of the day

Was my attempt to prettify my blog. I find that a painting here and there will do wonders to brighten up such a sparse scene as mine. Unfortunately, the widget that enabled me to showcase Van Gogh paintings has since then disappeared.

On well-being and being well

I've always thought spas were pansy things to go to. Fortunately, thanks to several friends and a special someone I've since then changed my mind about spas and wellness centers and have thought of them as good places to go to when I need to relax. Of course the cost will likely limit the number of times I'll visit them.

There is a calendar of posts (arranged in chronological order) in every page of my blog

Planning ahead for the semestral break

What do I want to do for the semestral break?

I want to go out of town (country hopefully) travel and eat.

Hello Faith!

Hello faith! I love that place! It's a good thing you made eating your hobby because you won't ever run out of new things to try in Singapore.

I've been to Singapore only once in 2006 and for around 3-4 days lang ata. But I made good use of my time there visiting NUS, SMU, Ministry of Sound and more. I haven't been to Lucky Plaza though.

I love it not because of the advanced state it's in. I am amazed at how several cultures can come together in one rocky outcrop and make it a financial center for the region (maybe the world once London falls).

There's so much food to eat, and all different kinds and flavors! Look at faith's blog to see what I'm talking about (although I would prefer eat instead of see).

Little India is one of the funnest places I've been, though I think I missed the Deepavali event there by a few days.

Anyway go and check it out!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Laying off a little

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

I'm just going to post this comic. I found it funny and at the same time smart. A pet detective. :) A detective kept as a pet. hahaha AHLAVIT!

I have been reading C&H for a time now and have featured a strip in another blog of mine A Friend Of Wisdom

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I wish I had investment advisers like hers

This is a wonderful story I got it from abs-cbn news

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been growing her money so fast. It used to be around P6M now it's in the P100M range. Of course that's just what she declares, there might be other holdings, funds or properties hidden around the world.

This is happening in the face of a backsliding Philippine and World economy. President Arroyo's stockholding's increased 40 or so percent while the stock exchanges have suffered a 21% drop in value. :) It's really hard to beat the market that consistently and by that much!

I wish I had investment advisers that good.

Medicines v. Living Well

The post of wits in in his blog makes a lot of sense.

As I commented there, it's better to eat well and live well now than have to rely on maintenance meds in the future.

Of course, everything is easier said than done.

The United States of America is being hit with several millions of dollars of losses yearly because of obesity and obesity related complications. A healthier lifestyle for their citizens would have resulted in less expenses in maintaining the economy.

Of course we need not look too far to see the ill-effects of poor living.

Take for example the Philippines, of course a huge amount of our population is below the subsistence level, but of those who are educated and who are gainfully employed an alarming number of them are living unhealthily. The Philippines has one of the worst smoking problems in the world.

As taken from the World Health Organization's site 60% of men smoke, losses in productivity due to smoking related illnesses will cost the taxpayers around P43 Billion and finally 20% of household income will be drained by smoking.

But that's still looking at it from the macro-economic level. Let's take the camera lower and closer to the person. Take me for example, I smoke and am overweight. I have been smoking for only a few years now and the effects have been telling. I used to be more than able to handle myself but now my endurance is gone and I am more prone to colds, coughs and sore throat.

All of these minor difficulties will roll over to become a big disease in the future. A disease which could have been prevented had I chosen to live better.

Hypertension (which also runs in my Family) will likely be one disease that I could have mitigated had I not started smoking. Add to this the fact that I have not been physically active for the past 3 years then it would cost me a fortune to keep myself alive in the future.

Medicines really cost more even though it appears that P40-P80 per pill isn't so bad you have to remember that it has to be taken everyday for the rest of your days. So a P40 pill x 365 = P14600 rather cheap right? But a P40 pill isn't the only medicine you'll have to be taking, you'll likely be taking two to three other kinds of pills for hypertension and two pills more for diabetes or any other disease. A single pill will appear cheap over a P200 salad at a restaurant but in the long run it'll be more expensive as you won't be able to do all the things you would want to do.

In my studies I have come across a case wherein a judge claimed that he did not have sexual relations with a married woman while he was also married. His excuse, although not backed up by medical certificates or any expert witnesses, was diabetes mellitus which prevented him from achieving an erection. Our teacher asked a physician-classmate of ours to confirm if this was a valid reason, he stated with authority that it will prevent erection.

So if you're a male smoker who is overweight or has not exercised in the past few years and your family has a history of hypertension and diabetes then I suggest you think twice about your current lifestyle. Even if you don't forecast it too far into the future, hypertension along with other diseases will prevent you from having sex. EVER.

So if a salad is too expensive for you in the restaurant, go make one at home. And if you can't find the time to make one grab a banana or an apple or some prunes instead. If you can't do it and you're already stuck in the restaurant get the salad, without the dressing ha, even if it's more expensive than the pan-fried chicken or the sizzling sisig you're paying for the longevity of your penis anyway so it's worth it.

Inertia

Google define: inertia

inactiveness: a disposition to remain inactive or inert; "he had to overcome his inertia and get back to work"
(physics) the tendency of a body to maintain its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force
source

The disposition to remain inactive or inert. Much as a rolling stone will not gather moss so too won't a person who is always up and about turn to seed.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so the saying goes.

I have had the same experience, and I am afraid I keep having it.

Back in college I took a course under the Leadership & Strategy section of my university. My teacher had for our final examinations a group oral exam. We were all tasked to sit down and chat with our teacher Fr. Candelaria, S.J.

My group went on and on about leadership, the proper way to prioritize, the pareto method and other subjects. Fr. Candy's blue eyes then went over to my side of the room. He began to ask me what is your plan after graduation? I was 3rd year then and on schedule. I wanted to make it big in business and in society in general, I wanted to make a difference and donate schools and build churches and houses and all of that jazz. I thought I had a well defined plan, I was thinking too far ahead it seems. You have a goal, but how do you get there? asks Fr. Candy. You see you are like the other college students, you all have goals but none of you have plans. You have the abilities to make it big but have no idea on how to do it.

This entry is about first steps, but in order to have a meaningful first step it must be put down in a plan first. In college I had as yet no plan, I saw the world as an oyster, it existed only for my pleasure. That is the problem with having no plan and having done nothing. There will always be too many possibilities for you to consider all of them and move on the best one. A person who buys nothing will have the worst buyer's remorse.

The plan makes the first step meaningful, and the first step sets the whole thing in motion.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What could be the effects culture?

What is culture?
Dictionary.com defines culture as such:

1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.

It is also otherwise defined as the behaviors or characteristics of a particular social group.

Culture now is either the excellence you have in matters you get from being educated or from exposure to arts and other groups' culture.

The Devil's Dictionary defines education as

EDUCATION, n.
That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

It is a brilliant definition, as education is a never ending pursuit of knowledge that in the end uncovers nothing more than the truth that we actually know less than we thought we knew.

In my interactions with society I have come across a certain notion that to be cultured is to be privileged. Those who can attend operas, plays, concerts and other artistic displays are considered wealthier than those who do not. Of course this also opens the discussion up to whether or not these people are pansies as seen in the blogs entitled haymen blog ng tunay na lalaki and other "manly" blogs. Regardless of how you view culture and a person's exposure to it I believe that there should be more of culture given out to more people.

It is no longer a question of why should we be exposed to culture and the arts but what kind of culture and the arts we should be exposing ourselves to? I believe that culture and the arts (I'll just lump these together into the term "culture") have a time element. These are products of our human existence and therefore are subject to the ephemeral element of life, that is our culture dies along with us. This is what I think would happen to our current form of bubble-gum culture. Take for example pop-songs and pop-culture, these have no sense of permanency to them as these are being churned out week after week by different faces discussing the same issues blaring the same tune. The opposite of this for me are products of culture that last, an example of man's stab at immortality. Take Beethoven, Luna, Beckett and Twain, their works have lasted for a long time, longer than the current works of art at least.

Of course, I may be wrong with regard to the time element, take the Beatles for example they were regarded as a pop-culture icon then and still their works are still being played and revered.

Indeed it might be likely that the works of Murakami and Britney Spears will end up being referred to as the premier examples of our time's culture. It might happen in the future and I won't feel too bad about it.

Why?

Because of the simple reason that all things will age, and some will acquire a veneer of grace and glory of the good old days and some will just be forgotten.

Ultimately it is not merely the time element of culture that will define whether or not it is great but the ability of that work of culture to transcend time and space that will define whether it is great.

A work that evokes the same emotion it did when it was first seen or heard in the 1800's and still does it well into the 2000's should be considered a great work.

Culture for me is not just the ephemeral expression of a group's values in the form of art. It is an expression of a man immortal disregarding the limitations of his flesh to add to the wonders of the universe.

After that lengthy discussion on what culture is and what kind of culture we should consider exposing ourselves to, I move to the grittier topic of what good would culture bring to the youth (and their parents) when made available to them?

I posit that exposing children (or the youth) and their parents to culture would enable societies to appreciate how other cultures are and at the same time allow the youth and their parents to think pragmatically. By opening opportunities for people to see great works of art, we are given the great chance to appreciate the work itself and the context in which the work was created. It grants people a new venue for discussion with other people from different contexts and allows a freer exchange of ideas.

With regard to the youth, especially if culture is incorporated into the education of the youth, the results will be phenomenal. To expose children to the culture of their nation and allow them to enjoy it and treasure it as a great feat. To allow them to compare and contrast their own culture with the wide array of culture humans have created expands and stretches their young and pliable minds to dimensions we could not possibly have imagined.

Of course in order to avoid creating youths distant from their own national culture careful direction must be present, lest the youths forget from whence they came. The national hero Dr. Rizal said that ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.

Culture will be essential in shaping the minds of children into a generation of people who can make a nation great and make the world whole.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Irreversible Damage

Scientists fear that the world has reached the tipping point. We are at the brink of setting off cataclysmic changes here on Earth. Should these changes occur there'd be some doubts as to the survival of mankind. I believe mankind will survive, it won't be as easy as the last few hundred years or so, but we'll manage.

Current technologies are available for environmental protection. However, these are mostly deemed as too expensive (in terms of cost and in terms of effort). The perceived factor that will drive people to pick say coal over hydro (when generating electricity) would have been the price. Coal, oil and other fossil fuels were cheap. These are also energy rich. When the cost of oil sky-rocketed the venture capitalists (the people who fund other people's "bright" ideas) invested heavily in green tech. This appears to me highly reactionary and not visionary. It was a knee-jerk reaction to the high cost of oil and not a consistent investment plan into viable alternatives to fossil fuels.

Sure ethanol has been touted as the bio-fuel of that will end most developed nation's addiction to oil. However, engineering alternative energy from food supplies (sugar, corn etc.) will serve to create cheaper fuel and at the same time jack up the cost of food. Using jatropha and other non-food bearing plants could be a solution but it wouldn't be a scalable solution. It would most likely be a one-off project. I think the Jatropha solution started in India or Pakistan and was seen as a means of creating cheap diesel fuel in the Philippines. It was scrapped as to make a plantation of jatropha would take away so much of the scarce arable land that we have left. Algae is still a few years off, we tried experimenting with it and lacking in scientific know how the project perished. We were able to prove the concept of algae as a source (as has everyone else, we merely based our work on their's) but the concept of a bio-fuel as a privately run small-scale enterprise was something we could not prove.

Bio-fuels are something I think would serve to wean away demand from oil but would not solve the environmental issue. Bio-fuels are there to attack the problem from an economic standpoint and not from an environmental view.

I have no idea how to fix this. I'll think about it!

The Six-Minute Storm

Well that was really, really disappointing. The fight lasted for six minutes. I'm talking of course about the Pacquiao-Hatton fight which aired today May 3 in Manila. It's great Manny won but I find it bad for the sponsors and all the people who had to purchase tickets and whatnot. Everything's a gamble nowadays!

Those were shades of Iron Mike right there. Mike Tyson's punching power cannot be questioned, however his financial decisions later in life were dubious. I hope that Pacquiao doesn't go the way of Iron Mike and bite off more than he can chew.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A day in the life: Bro. James Dunne SJ

I entered high school in 1999. I went where the winds took me, I applied to, at least two schools. I guess the winds really weren't blowing that much then. Actually, I applied to three but the Philippine Science High School rejected me because I wasn't among the top 10% of my graduating class. The other science high school, QC, put me on a waiting list. The third, the Ateneo High School accepted me outright. I took the path of least resistance and went right into the AHS. I was amazed at how "big" the Loyola campus was. Big because I was 12 years old when I entered high school. My brother went there too, he was about 4 batches higher so we never really crossed paths in Ateneo.

Anyway, I was still very young when I had to meet him in school. I was along the corridor near Big Boy's desk (a huge man-mountain/gorilla-volcano, he was also smoldering like one with his cigarettes). Out of one of the random doors that dotted that corridor (they're all gone now) emerged this old white male. Beside the door was a small vehicle used for personal transport. He looked all wrinkly and mean, like Palpatine or something. I was shocked that he would appear out of nowhere like that. He was using a cane to walk to his small vehicle (his Rolls-Royce as we would call it). He unfortunately, dropped his cane and couldn't bend over to pick it up. He looked at me with those old eyes (I have really bad eyes and I can't see really well so I can't describe him) and said "could you please hand me my cane." I froze for about 5 seconds I was afraid that once I go near him to hand him his cane he'd drag me into the darkness that the door withheld. I nonetheless picked it up and handed it to him. "Thanks" "You're welcome" and then I ran off. That was my first encounter with Bro. James Dunne of the Society of Jesus.

As I entered high school in '99 I found out that it wasn't really his Rolls-Royce, the white 4 or so wheeled vehicle that moved him about, it was called the Bro-Mobile. He would always say bobo or stupid in Filipino. He being unaccustomed to how its pronounced would say "bow-bow" So it would be *some random question* *some stupid answer by a student* "It's Jesus bow-bow!"

He would honk at students who mill about aimlessly along EDSA walk (the huge corridor that used to link the Art Pavilion all the way to the cafeteria and science labs). His office was in a bat cave between the 1st year wing and 3rd year wing. It was called a bat cave because that space was unusually dark for such a sun-drenched high school campus. There was another area near the ITC I forgot if it was also called the bat cave.

I will never forget Bro. Dunne not because of his Bro-Mobile nor his Multiple Sclerosis nor his invigorating retorts of Bow-bow or idiot or whatever. I will always remember Bro. Dunne for Days With The Lord. Bro. Dunne used to run DWTL, after the year that I did Days he stopped I think for health reasons. And I don't know if he was able to go back to running Days before he died.

Out of my DWTL experience with him I recall one story of his. The story of his mom and bread rolls (or sticks) in a fancy restaurant. The premise of the story is that it all happened a long time ago. He was a young man, I think he got his paycheck or something then. He brought his mom to a fancy place in the city . After they ordered their dinner his mom got the free bread and started putting it in her bag. He felt so ashamed that he had to call his mom out on it. "Mom stop it!" "Why? we could eat it tomorrow for breakfast!" "Only poor people do that!"

Normally it would elicit laughs from the listeners. At first I got a few but after further reflection why did he really do that? Did he have to? Was his mom doing something that was out of place or so unmotherly? If your mom did that would you be ashamed? Should you? These were the questions that haunted me plagued my mind that night. Even to this day I sometimes find myself asking these questions. Why? Simply because I forgot how his story ended. I forgot if he ended up regretting it for the rest of his life.

I find it really hard to answer the questions I raised. What if my mom really did that? Was there something to be ashamed of? We'd just be eating the free bread that's all! She'd be doing something that would fit perfectly with her being a mom, she would be looking out for her family by preparing their food for tomorrow tonight.

Of course, what if I did that? Heck I do it all the time! Its part of what I paid for! So restaurants that offer delicious bread sticks or rolls don't stand a chance (unless of course I really really really have to behave).

There are several other Bro. Dunne stories out there. I think I have some more stored in my hardly used brain, I just have to find them. I am honored and happy that I was able to meet Bro. Dunne before he died. I was able to enjoy his guidance for the whole 4 years of my high school. I believe there was a section that he moderated (or was that Fr. Holscher?).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Umbrella Theft!

If there's one thing that irks me its the loss of my umbrellas. Back in college I had really huge umbrellas. Those were the ones called as "golf" umbrellas. If you are in Ateneo de Manila you have to own your own umbrella.

In AHS when the rainy season hits the whole of EDSA (the long corridor spanning 1st year wing (now includes the new Math and Science building) and terminating at the old lab area or caf)becomes a waterway. There are dripping ceiling tiles, gushing drain-pipes and very few dry spots to walk on. Outside of the AHS compound if you have to walk or ride a tricycle out to Katipunan you'd have to brave the flooding near EAPI. An umbrella was a necessity even then.

In college there were a lot of covered buildings with few dripping areas. But the covered walks between buildings were few and far between, canopies are still not present in most of the Loyola Schools' driveways for students waiting to be fetched. You will really get drenched when caught between buildings (think of the distance between Bel and Xavier hall.)

So you see, you'll need umbrellas in school. Even outside of campus Katipunan provides little to no respite for the lashing rains that hit Manila. Flooding will quickly douse any hopes of sheltering under the pedestrian overpasses along Katipunan.

In fact I think that you'll need umbrellas anytime you'll step outdoors in the Philippines. We're mostly hit with two (2) kinds of weather, dry and wet. So for at least half a year we should be sweltering and the other half we'd be drowning. So we'll absolutely need our OWN umbrellas.

The last paragraph brings me to the point of this post. Owning an umbrella in the Philippines should be a normal thing. Unfortunately, a good number of umbrellas that I OWN were taken from me back in college. I'd lend some to my classmates and they'd leave it at another friend's place. This place is notorious for being a Bermuda Triangle of personal items. I lost my favorite pharma company donated umbrella to his house. There were other instances when I lent my 300 PHP umbrella to a HS classmate and he failed to return it (I got drenched thanks to him). He told me it went missing and he couldn't find it. So he replaced it with I think a 50 PHP one. It broke after the first rainy day I used it.

To lend an umbrella without expectation of it being returned is being kind. Lending an umbrella expecting it to be returned is not a decision arrived at because of largesse or kindness. You expect an item so personal and necessary to yourself to be returned. Lending an umbrella with the expectation of it being returned is like lending money with interest. It is a business decision arrived at through the study of the risks involved and the degree of trust that the lender has with the borrower.

I am pained greatly when the borrower does not return my umbrella.

Now I have changed, I will no longer return umbrellas. I will no longer forget the favors I have done for others. I will take from the world what it has taken from me!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is the URL too long?

I'm thinking maybe I made a mistake when I used http://bloggingisforbums.blogspot.com. I don't know why it appealed to me at the time. Now, I'm finding that it makes it difficult, even for me, to type such a long URL. In any case I've almost lost the drive to blog. Maybe I'm just too tired from school (school wrapped up a few weeks ago.) or maybe I'm just too busy (I'm not doing anything) or too sleepy (its 1am already). I don't really know. Maybe reflecting on why I've stopped blogging will be good material for blogging. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Conscience

I had a rare moral dilemma today. It consisted of me having to choose between a free meal and ponying up. Having convinced myself to go for the free meal after much verification that the failed delivery would result to none being charged for it back at the outlet.

This all sounds a bit cryptic, if not a gem of how not to write so...

I'll just lay all the facts out.

I ordered via a pizza chain's delivery hotline. I was given the time and at least an hour from that time for delivery. This means that my order will be handed to me and paid by me within an hour from my call.

The minutes turned on the face of our grandfather clock. The minutes turned into an hour and then into way beyond an hour. I called up the hotline again and inquired as to the status of my order. They informed me that the order still had 4 minutes. I turned my timer on to 4 minutes after that call. But they did inform me that it was unusual that the delivery would take the whole hour.

The delivery man came (rider as the contact person from the hotline corrected me) about ten minutes after the hour given to me. Apparently he still had 8 minutes on his watch because the phone call from the delivery hotline to the branch came say at 330 instead of my call at 318pm.

I said well the hotline told me you guys were late, please call up the branch he said. I called the hotline again and was again (yes they informed me from the very first time that I called that the branch will be calling me) informed that the branch will call. The branch didn't call so I took the branch number from the rider and called them up and laid my case.

I told them that the time difference wasn't attributable to me, and that I didn't need the order anymore because my father and brother (the two persons who'll have to eat it) left already. So there we go, the pizza is something that I wouldn't accept because (1) it was late, (2) I didn't need it anymore. So the woman on the other end told me to just take it and sign on the receipt (much like what the delivery hotline guy said).

I took the pizza!

But I took it after asking from the branch if the rider will be made to pay for this. It's not his fault, why should he be made to pay? It was glaringly obvious that the branch and the hotline center didn't do their respective jobs. So I took it and signed.

Did I do the right thing by accepting something that I didn't need? I initially wanted to return the order and be rid of it all. But the allure of free was too great. Besides I also suffered something equivalent to hurt feelings (if that'll qualify for damages) because I couldn't feed my sibling and parents (yes parents my mom was also here) for the afternoon. I took the failure to deliver on time personally. My wounds were soothed but a new one was torn open, had I just sentenced an innocent rider to be made to pay for something he didn't do?

I also checked with the rider if he'd be penalized he said no. I said yep they told me at the other end that it was production who'd get hit with the blame on this one.

Anyway, I won't rest until I finally come up with something on conscience (I'll look into Aquinas and some other philosophers for conscience) and a piece on conscience and a free meal due to the error of the other.

Please refer to my other post on A friend of wisdom on my other musings on who has to pay.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be water my friend

Here is one of Bruce Lee's videos. This does not concern the martial arts legend kicking ass and taking names but reflecting on what should be the mentality of a martial artist (at least that's what it says in his book The Tao of Gung Fu).








Again we see the beauty of the frame of mind Bruce Lee had at that time. To be like water, water is the softest substance yet it can penetrate stone. Water is soft and gives but cannot be hurt. Being like water entails absolute freedom from attachment of the mind. As he discusses in his book, the mind should not be focused on any plan of attack, or on any limb, or point of the body. The mind should flow freely, like water. :) 


That's totally unrelated to the rest of this post just trying out my HTML editing skills.

Anyway, building on Bruce Lee's ideas of being like water (which I believe he took from another Chinese philosopher) and of not being focused, I think that we should at the very least attempt to center the mind and the spirit or person or chi or whatever you wish to call the essence of your existence. There is a marked difference between being focused and being centered. To focus is to divert one's attention to a certain point or activity, as Bruce Lee would have it it's like keeping the mind in just one limb trapping it there. Being centered is allowing the entirety of existence to move about you and still controlling it and (all at the same time) being calm. The eye of a storm is its center. When the eye passes over you the wind dies down etc etc. The center is still, while the surrounding activities wreak havoc all over. This I believe is another way of thinking about the example of water. I'll try to reflect on it (water and reflect haha) more in the coming days.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New new knowledge!

I just learned how to create links in-text. haha Its the newest craze! Please go to this past post to find out why! Harhar

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gordon Gekko's Greed is Good

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.


Greed is good. I talked about this in i.ph and I'll talk about it here as well, because it's just that good! Greed as a way of thinking is not to be seen as something inherently evil. Although this runs counter to the new circular (or encyclical I'm not too familiar with what was released) from the Vatican retaining greed as one of the 14 (yes 14) deadly sins. In any case, Greed as one of the Deadly Sins should be seen as more in line with the word Avarice, or as dictionary.com puts it "an insatiable greed for riches".

Yes, Greed or Avarice is still greed at its' very root. However, greed as i mentioned in i.ph should be seen as a means to an end, that is a means of generating employment and at the same time satisfying needs and wants. In short, what I would like is for greed to be controlled.

The main difference, I would like to think, is between greed in its "good" sense and in its "bad" sense. In its good sense greed can be used to employ so many people and affect so many lives for the better. An example would be to actually employ fair trade practices. Instead of exploiting situations and people, we could still engage in profitable business but with a social conscience. This has been a thrust in recent times with Corporate Social Responsibility. It should be beyond dole-outs but an actual intent of the enterprise to retain its main purpose of being a profitable business and marry it with a second purpose as an agent of positive social change. This is corporation being greedy and at the same time changing, socially and economically, its means to profit for the better.

The bad sense is when it runs unbridled in the business. If the corporation, or the board of directors, engages in practices meant to achieve a quick-buck goal then chances are it will run counter to the CSR approach. Case in point is Gekko's corporate raiding and most of the Leveraged Buy-Out firms approach of corporate raiding. These practices are engineered to make money without actual production. This results in paper profits. No actual good is caused to the consumers, employees, stockholders and the corporation itself. It generates fast profits but nothing sustainable. It would be good to acquire, turn-around and then sell a business as it begins to generate sustainable profits. Unbridled greed could be seen in Madoff's practices, when people start ignoring danger signs of the venture being beyond the acceptable risk level then there's greed. If all they seek is a quick return without establishing anything sustainable for themselves and for their principals or stockholders then that might be an indicator.

Greed should be a means of guiding our efforts to an end-goal, profits. Greed, however should be controlled so as to prevent it from acting as blinders from the bigger picture. A business is not built on numbers, it is built on people by people.

Evert's Desserts on i.ph!

Hello everyone! Evert's Desserts is now on a blog! It's everts desserts. It used to be on multiply but now its on a blog! Really good food for all of you who have a hankering for a little somethin'-somethin'! :)

Pay it a visit if you're intrigued just ring the number up and order! Thanks!

Its a really clean looking site, not all cluttered and messy like mine! I wish someone would just give me a blog-make over. Not that I don't like the current appearance of my i.ph blog and this one is relatively new so I haven't gotten around to tinkering with it yet.

In any case, even if you don't buy (yet) you'll get to see how nice a well planned well executed blog looks like. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Random Drug Testing in NCR!

Random drug testing will now be implemented tomorrow February 4! Let's just hope that the money earmarked will be put to good use. I heard some comments from Good Times With Mo on 89.9 about the random drug testing. Their guest at the time was Atty. Adel Tamano, a dude who seems to be someone of standing in society at the moment. Yes, at the moment, there are times when you just suddenly fall from grace. Anyway, Random drug testing in NCR will be rolled out tomorrow! Won't that just be wild! I haven't read about how's it supposed to go down. In fact I just heard about it from that radio station. Drug addicts beware! Let's just hope that all that pissing doesn't go down the drain. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Israel and Its conflicts

Israel is a well known Jewish state (in fact the lone Jewish State) right smack in the middle of several Arab nations. It was carved out of this seething mass of Arabs by the British and the United States after the Second World War.

I must admit my ignorance and lack of first hand experience with Israel (the lay of the land, the state itself etc.), with war itself (I haven't been in one and am not looking to get into one) and with the Arab states (I haven't been there, nor have I met enough people from the neighboring states to form a general impression of the people there).

At most I have met one Israeli back in 2006. We met in a Beijing mall. Our group of tourists/students sadly left our passports in UIBE. He willingly helped us change our USD in the nearest bank (the banks refused to let us change our USD for RMB without our passports). He seemed nice enough at the time so I know for a fact that not all Israelis are hell bent on destroying Arabs.

As for the Arabs and other nations, I've met just a few on business trips. Most are entrepreneurs seeking to buy equipment and technology from South East Asian nations etc. Some are looking to sell their nation as a top destination for tourism.

I guess on an individual level the opposing sides of the same coin are inherently good. Isreali and Palestinian both are human and both will therefore have their corresponding strengths, weaknesses and desires. It is at the collective level that we find the irreconcilable differences appear. It is at the level of nation or state that we find that the Israelis will not like co-existing with Palestinians and vice-versa. If you take a step back, however, you will find that the idea of a nation is a mere construct of our education, our different cultures and quirks. It is an idea that is commonly used to galvanize otherwise peace-loving individuals into a rioting mob. I think it was in one of my father's books that I was able to read on the notion of a meme. A meme is an idea that self-replicates by spreading through minds and being stronger than other memes in the "meme" pool. If we think of the idea of a nation as a meme, intent on self-replication, then we can uncover, partially at least, the problem of the never ending conflict. The idea that Israel is a nation for all Jews is so strong among the minds that it can attach itself to that these minds (hence the people that own these minds) would find that a meme or idea contrary to the meme or idea that Israel exists as a nation for the Jews would be threatened greatly. A meme to protect itself will use, at times, different memes to force the mind to act to preserve the meme. For example, the idea of God finds itself in a strong position because it reinforces the idea with the threat of hell. Like Austin's command theory this might be a crude way to enforce preservation but an effective one. So we find that there are probably two memes at least who are duking it out right now near Jerusalem, the idea of Israel and the idea of Palestine. Both ideas will kill each other (each seeing the other as a negation of the existence of itself) and in so doing kill the people that hold these ideas.

And now we find, hopefully, the tip of the conflict.

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. " -John F. Kennedy

And we find it to be an enduring one.

(I'll try to scrounge up the citations for the meme book, I think it was the selfish gene forgot the author now though.)

Editing HTML, Page elements? What?

I really want the readers of this blog, if any, to leave messages. That way I can readily assess how I'm doing. The thing is I have to install a chat-box or some sort of, uh, "widget" in order to be able to put it up. Also, I'm finding that blogger doesn't have quite a lot of alternatives to the shout-out box or chat-box I'm looking for. So I have to go in and edit HTML now. Which I have not done for what 6 years? I'm not looking forward to editing HTML today, not tomorrow nor ever. I find it too hard and too confusing. My intellect has its limits.

Friday, January 30, 2009

On Well-Being and being well

A spa serves to relax and calm a person. But can it also cure him?

It depends on the idea of a cure. If a cure is a pill, a capsule or a tablet then the relaxation of one's body will not be a cure.

My university advocated many things but one I remember more "Mens sana in corpore sano" A sound mind in a sound body. I believe that the mind, the will can do great things. Mind over matter it has been said. But once the body breaks, the mind can no longer do.

So back to the idea of a spa. Or therapy, or treatment or whatever which way you choose to designate it. As long as you can relax, it will be good for you.

I posted in my other blog A friend of wisdom an entry about ENIT or Etheric Nerve Impulse Therapy. I find that its really a good experience I recommend checking it out if you're in the Philippines. It is not magic nor the fusion of science and belief that I think differentiates ENIT from other forms of relaxation. In fact I don't think ENIT is different at all.

The main concept behind such therapy is the appeasement of a troubled mind through calming of the body. The main cause of our aches and pains is usually stress. Stress cannot be felt by the body, it is the mind that feels the stress and the body must feel sleep-deprivation, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise etc. ENIT strives to go after those aches and pains by releasing the symptoms of stress and at the same time calming the mind, through Nerve therapy (i.e. really good massage)

In sum I think there should be a holistic or at least pragmatic approach to fighting stress. You go after the pains of the body so you can calm the mind. I think it would be good to mix and match different styles, whether its a massage you're after (like what you'll get in ENIT) or you're looking for hours to be alone and reflect, it depends on what you want. Whatever it is you do to relax your mind and body keep in mind the Latin phrase "mens sana in corpore sano" a sound mind in a sound body.

Van Gogh Art for the day!

I like these plug-ins that come with the blog! You can actually put a "Van Gogh Art for the day" to liven up your blog. I'll keep on exploring the features of blogger first though. I must confess my ignorance when it comes to blogging. I've been blogging on i.ph for over a year now but I still haven't gotten around to fully exploring the capabilities of the i.ph platform. In any case I hope that I can get to it this year with my domesticatedman blog and this one.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To school or not to school?

For anyone matriculating there comes a point where you ask yourself "what am I fighting for? Why do I strive so much to see so little change?" And then comes the dangerous idea of "Maybe I should just quit? Its probably not for me anyway."

For a student, a grad student at that, to feel that way is a damn shame. Its a shameful incident because I'll just be wasting my time and money at home (not making money) instead of going to law school (where the possibility of making money in the future is big). So a student who feels school's not for him, isn't really seriously feeling it. He's just dead tired. I myself stop and think "why do I subject myself to the hardships of transportation and to the difficulties of school?" I have at times given these thoughts serious mind-time (because its just not air in my head). I dug and dug and found that I was just tired from all the work/study. I could give you a thousand and one excuses why I shouldn't go to school today but you'll find me at campus later at 12 noon. Why? The possibility of making money is still better than the reality of not making money! This is what all students who'd want to quit should remember. Stay in school graduate and make money. Get out of school and not be employed. Or be duped by unscrupulous suppliers or criminal elements.

Some people symbolize education as a book and a torch. I find that this mirrors reality. Education will give you a small spark, education won't change you too much it will just improve your thought processes a little, to start a big fire. Education is not just a guiding light for our life, it is a means to achieve greatness not just an aid to it. In any case you can likewise check ray's blog to see that being in a university or college can let you meet new, and possibly useful, people. He's been my classmate and team mate since High School, he's been a business partner in college and a good friend of mine. We met in school (duh High School), which just goes to show how many good people you'll meet when you stay in school.

MUTO

I found this on my friend wits' site. Really really cool video on how to vandalize. Tells a story (if you can see one I thought I did). Really really nice. Mad props.

Like him, I found it great that the people who made this video really took the time to paint on the wall, let it dry, take a video of it, paint it again etc. Just click play now.

A tale of two blogs

I don't know what to write in this blog or my first blog A Friend of Wisdom. I'd like to write but there seems to be, at the moment, a dearth of material. Or at least inspiration for me. In any case I'll just write about my thoughts for the day here, regarding my reflections, and for causes and other matter in A Friend of Wisdom.

Of course I can just write any which way I want. Those are my blogs anyway. :)

Pushing for change

I've read some (meaning 1 or half way beyond one) analyses of the effects of Obama on the Philippines.

I believe that we have to break from the concept of export-fueled growth. We have to adopt the North Korean concept of Self-Reliance. No, I'm just kidding. But the Philippines really has to step up its own production as we are a nation of 90 million people since last year. Assuming that around 70-80% is below the poverty line that still leaves you a few million to go after as domestic demand. We are primarily an agricultural country that actually imports produce, meat, dairy and other food products. Yes the Philippines is halfway between being agricultural and industrial. Industrialization has been, is and will be a mess for the Philippines while current policies on agriculture (especially the lack of subsidies) are forcing farmers to stop farming and start selling the land that they own (thanks to the horrendously inefficient and ineffective Agrarian Reform Program) back to the former land owners, who will subsequently convert these lands into non-agricultural land. This serves to remove the land from the ambit of the Agrarian Reform Program and at the same time transform the land into a potential hectare of rice or other product into a condominium unit, technopark or industrial park.

A local dairy organization has likewise said that the Philippines is importing 99% of dairy. It would be better to create more dairy farms than import dairy in the long run. But that's the problem. There is no long run in the Philippines.

In any case I hope to make a dent on our problems in the future.

A Brave New World

Speaking of New Stuff. I still haven't managed to read A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. That book is really one of those books that I really, really would like to read. I also would like to get a copy of the Analects and Tao Te Ching, I feel that these last two works would really give me a wider perspective on things. I'm still looking for a perspective with which I can tackle the problems of daily life using only that perspective. I want it to be all-encompassing, yet non-containing. I want to be like water, the water that Bruce Lee told all people to become.

I have read snatches on the concept of Bruce Lee, specifically Wu Wei and Wu Hsin. (I doubt I spelled both correctly) Doing without doing and not thinking or non-thinkning I think. In any event, I think that Bruce Lee's application of his views, on Chinese philosophy and philosophers, to martial arts is a very concrete way to distill these abstractions. If you were just going to read the books without trying to even apply it in "real" life then it would be just like any book. It will affect you temporarily but will not cause a stretch or growth in your person. Bruce Lee's Martial Arts philosophy can be extruded from the narrow (I say this in the sense that not all people are martial arts practitioners) field of martial arts and redrawn into a wider backdrop for people to readily accept it and apply it to their own lives.

More on this soon.

A new blog!

I have a new blog! I named it fides quarens intellectum for "faith seeking understanding". Basically it is an experience all people will undergo. I think its in Civilization 4 where one quote is "Nature has implanted in the minds of all men the idea of God". We are all seeking a greater being in one way or another and for greatly differing reasons. Some seek to blame others to praise. I will detail in this blog my experiences and thoughts on things great and small. I will usually post here and in my other blog on various thoughts. I don't intend to shut down the domesticatedman.i.ph yet.

Which leads me to the blog URL which is bloggingisforbums.blogspot.com. I will write posts only during my free time and after I have thouroughly thought about the experiences. Good luck to all of us.