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Archive for June, 2007

Weekend dsl woes…

Since yesterday, I’ve been surfing the net at a agonizing speed of 45 kbps. Yes, I’m on dial-up connection yet again, trying to keep myself from falling asleep while waiting for the webpages to load.

It’s kinda like, watching molasses slowly drip down a wall…

And no, my dsl connection didn’t die on me, it’s fine actually. I can still see those tiny indicator lights in my modem blinking happily away like lights on a Christmas tree.

It’s just that, the server won’t accept my username and password. Which means, I can’t access my account.

You see, a few days ago, while paying my phone bill at a PLDT business office. I found out that the telecom giant have recently upgraded the connections (read: additional bandwidth) on the different plans, including the one I’m using (Plan 999) — and at no extra cost.

So I asked a customer service rep about this and she confirmed that they have indeed increased the connection speed of every dsl subscribers — and in my case, from 386 to 512 kbps.

Not that I was getting the full treatment before, by the way. At an average, I’ve clocked my connection at an anemic 106 kbps. Hardly what one would consider as, blazing speed, nowadays. And certainly NOT enough to download those video clips from You Tube, without pulling your hair off its roots.

Seems that PLDT forgot to include me in their upgrade program, again…

Anyways, I informed them of this irregularity, and the nice lady at the customer service counter was kind enough to send a service memo to their dsl tech department about my predicament, assuring me that all would be taken care of by the weekend.

Well, it’s the weekend already… so what the F**K happened to my dsl connection???

Awwww, *&(^$@&*%#@% !!!!

PS: Hope you’ll excuse this mindless and somewhat, fractured entry. I just didn’t feel like editing it. Have a great weekend anyway.

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On losing it…

We all have our breaking point. I mean, how many of us had — at one time or another — entertained the thought of wringing the neck of that stupid jeepney driver, or an impossibly difficult co-worker, and even that person who cuts in line at a supermarket checkout counter, or at the LRT ticket booth during rush hour.

We’re just humans after all, and we do have our limits. Besides, we usually end up doing all those things within the confines of our imagination.

But to actually bitch-slap a woman for her supposedly rude behavior? And in front of a dozen or so witnesses? Geez, what the f**k was this guy thinking?

Oh wait, was he even thinking at all?

(UPDATE) OWWA firing employee who slapped stewardess at POEA

By Veronica Uy
INQUIRER.net
Last updated 07:45pm (Mla time) 06/27/2007

MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) chief Marianito Roque said he is firing a contractual employee of the agency assigned to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) who slapped a stewardess readying her travel documents there Wednesday Morning.

OWWA Deputy Administrator Noriel Devanadera confirmed that the agency would have to let go of computer verifier and encoder Roderick Delos Reyes.

“We will not tolerate this action. And because of his job order status, our action may be immediate termination,” he said, echoing the earlier statement of Roque.

Read the rest of the Inquirer.net article here.

This is one reason why frontline employees — especially contractual employees — need to go through a thorough psychiatric exam… you just never know when they’ll snap.

Let’s face it, even after millions of years of human evolution, we still have that primal instinct (I prefer to call it, the caveman instinct) lying dormant inside our supposedly, highly-evolved brains, just waiting for that “switch” to bring it back to life again.

Goes to show that sometimes, we are no different from our simian cousins in the wilds.

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The couch potato me…

This, is my new Wednesday night addiction… on television that is.

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A (CONFIDENTIAL) TOWN HISTORY

As World War II came to a close with mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the impact that science and technology would have on the continued security of our world became catastrophically apparent. America nearly lost the race to build the atomic bomb; it could not risk such a close call again.

With the help of Albert Einstein and other trusted advisors, President Harry S. Truman commissioned a top-secret residential development in a remote area of the Pacific Northwest, one that would serve to protect and nurture America’s most valuable intellectual resources. There our nation’s greatest thinkers, the über-geniuses working on the next era of scientific achievement, would be able to live and work in a supportive environment. The best architects and planners were commissioned to design a welcoming place for these superlative geniuses to reside, an area that would offer the best education for their children, the best health care, the best amenities and quality of life. A community was created to rival the most idyllic of America’s small towns — with one major difference: this town would never appear on any maps. At least, none that haven’t been classified “eyes only” by the Pentagon.

So goes the premise of this quirky, and mind-boggling sci-fi series that is just now being shown in Asia, thanks to Starworld.

But, lest you think that a series about a non-existent town inhabited by eccentric geniuses, mad scientists and crazy inventors would be another ho-hum affair, think again. The scientific fact-filled show boasts of it’s own share of twists and turns, mysteries and intrigue in every episode that would keep you glued to your set, and wanting for more. At least, for science-fiction buffs like yours truly.

Think “The X-Files”, and you’d get my drift.

The highly-rated series from the Sci-Fi Channel by the way, is now well on it’s way to a second season in the US — and we’re just starting out on the first season.

Oh well, there’s always the friendly neighborhood dvd pirates (Jack Sparrows, as Alternati calls them) I can run to for the entire first season episodes.

Intrigued? Read more about this show on their website.

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Untitled entry…

Since it became mandatory three years ago, renewing your driver’s license has become sort of like, well… like participating in an Olympic sporting event.

Not only are you now required to submit to a drug test, you also have to take a medical exam of sorts before the Land Transportation Agency will even process your papers.

Which means, that on top of the renewal fee of P240 (around $4 US), you have to shell out an additional P250 to have your urine tested for banned narcotics, and another hundred bucks for a pseudo medical check-up in one of those questionable drug and medical testing centers, that have sprouted like wild mushrooms near the LTO field offices.

Note: I took this picture inside a drug testing facility in front of the LTO branch inside a mall, while waiting for my bladder to fill up.

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To weed out the “undesirables” the authorities said, but somebody sure is making a killing…

And yet, in spite of all those tests, you still see them every freaking day. Driving jeepneys, buses, taxis and big-assed trailer trucks. Like madmen high on amphetamines, hell-bent on wreaking havoc on our streets.

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I sometimes cannot help but think that, the sole purpose of the existence of this government agency (or any other agency for that matter) is to make life as complicated as possible for us law-abiding citizens — all in the name of public safety.

But here’s the good news. Drug and medical testing aside, and depending on the branch and the number of people present, it now takes less than 20 minutes to have your license renewed.

I got mine in 10…

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So I was at Robinson’s Mall last Saturday, despite my sniffles. I was supposed to meet up with my best friend, Ed, for one of our weekend lunch-outs. And since it was my birthday the day before, it was to be my treat.

I had wanted to bring him to that Italian restaurant — the one with with a sinister-sounding name — that we were trying to find a few weeks back, in Malate.

Unfortunately, while loitering inside the mall, I received a text message from Ed informing me that he had to take a rain check. He was stuck in his meeting and was already having lunch with the staff (who’s staff it was, I have no idea).

So, what’s a guy who had just been stood up, do in a situation like this?

Why, have lunch all by his lonesome self of course…

And where else but in one of his favorite pasta place.

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And order his usual… Chicken a la Pesto.

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See that bottle of Caramba hot sauce in the background? I had the whole pasta and chicken strips literally drowning in the stuff for that, err… extra kick.

It’s the Bicolano in me, I guess.

And the great thing is, the extra spiciness sort of cleared up my clogged nose…

While stuffing myself with pesto and pasta, I thought of sending Abaniko a text message to ask him if he was free for a beer drinking session that afternoon. He replied a few minutes later with this message: “Incidentally, I’m also in Robinson’s now but in Singapore. Hehe. Be back tomorrow evening. Sayang”.

Dang, there goes another one…

Anyways, after that hearty — and hot — pasta lunch, I wanted to indulge in something sweet… and cold. And what better way to satisfy that craving than with a tall glass of halo-halo in the newly-opened Iceberg’s, just a few steps away from Chef d’ Angelo.

But after dilly-dallying for a while, I decided to pass — and opted to try out something different, for once.

And so I had this, to placate my sweet tooth instead…

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A regular-sized cup of finely-shaved ice desert with Buko (coconut) and Pandan, from Ice Monster. By the way, in case you’re unfamiliar with the place, check out their website here.

The customary cigarette, or two, after every meal…

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Yeah yeah, I know, it’s a nasty habit. But a man’s got to have at least one or two vices, right? Just be thankful women isn’t one of them… oh and I don’t gamble either.

Fair enough?

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You all may have noticed (as if you didn’t) that I’ve changed this blog’s template, again. No, it wasn’t done out of boredom, nor did I suddenly develop an “itch” for a new one . Actually, the previous layout was fine and save for one dissenter — everyone seemed to agree that the newspaper-like theme was, well.. cool.

So why ditch the “cool” layout in the first place?

Umm… let’s just say that, I didn’t have a choice. It’s either I change the entire layout, or get stuck with a blog that has a screwed-up sidebar and a useless comment box.

You see, what happened was that I upgraded my WordPress version from 2.1 to 2.2, last Saturday night, with the hope that some bugs in the earlier version (2.1) will be fixed, not that it was bad by the way.

And fixed the bugs it did — including rearranging the entire layout of the frigging template beyond recognition.

Turns out that the “new and improved” version is fully widgetized, and the add-ons like the stat counter and other whatnots in my previous template, have all but disappeared into thin air.

Okay, they didn’t really vanish — they just weren’t showing up in the front page, that’s all…

Anyways, I tried out a couple of layouts yesterday, most of which — unfortunately — also didn’t work quite as well as expected with the latest WP version. I could tweak some codes here and there but…

Nah! Too much usage of brain power is needed, and that is something I’m lacking in right now.

So far, the dull-looking template that you’re looking at is holding out pretty good. Except for the header picture — which I added for aesthetics — I didn’t have to do much tweaking on the codes.

Problem is, the right column of the sidebar is way off it’s mark when viewed in IE… but then, it’ll have to do for now.

Sorry for you IE users…

I guess I’ll be stuck with this one for a while. That is, until someone comes up with a better WP2.2 compatible template.

Man, upgrading can be such a pain in the butt…

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I came across this ChowKing drop-down banner ad inside Robinson’s Mall in Manila, last Saturday…

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Look closely… notice anything odd in that banner?

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Boy, when they say time flies, it really does. Seems like it was only yesterday when everyone was celebrating the new year, now were half way into 2007.

Argh!

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Untitled entry…

Note: I wasn’t planning on posting anything this weekend, but then I saw this picture among my unfinished drafts and decided to post it anyway, unedited.

I took this shot of a couple of homeless street folks taking shelter from the searing mid-day sun under the shade of a tree, in the middle of Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo, about two weeks ago.

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The guy on the right was staring blankly — like he was in a trance or something — at the passing cars, while having a puff on a discarded cigarette butt. The old woman with a plastic bag on the left was, well… probably thinking of what to put in her otherwise empty stomach, while just across the street is a MacDonald’s outlet.

And the rest however, were just content on napping their problems away — totally oblivious to the chaotic and uncaring world around them.

PS: I think I’m coming down with something. Can’t stop sneezing and am beginning to feel that blockage up my nose…

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