Payday loans
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Several weeks back, Mr. Frost's company (a subsidiary of the international company I recently moved to) announced that starting February, salary will be released once a month. The current setup is twice-a-month payday - during the 15th and 30th of each month.

I'm not sure if we're prepared for this kind of cash flow. I'm thinking this would give us the false impression that we have lots of money because we were used to getting a particular amount every payday. On the other hand, this will help us manage our finances better and eliminate the need for payday loans.

Not that many establishments offer that kind of service, but in the United States, many individuals get by and are able to make ends meet through these kinds of loans. A couple of payday loan services I've seen on the internet boast of overnight release of funds once approved. And the approval process? Very fast and easy as they don't require you to fax documents of any sort.

If such service is already available in the country, I'm not aware of it. If you think about it, such service can be of big help to those who encounter financial emergencies in between paydays. You just have to be sure not to abuse such service or you'll end up being in deeper trouble.



Guinness World Records - Gamer's Edition
Here's something for my fellow gamers (at least I think I still am a gamer ).

Click on the image to see the book preview.

The Guinness World Records - Gamer's Edition is set to be released February 8 in London and March 11 in the US. According to
The book, like its general interest predecessors, will focus on the miscellaneous (yet critical) trivia surrounding gaming, including such critical information as "What is the fastest Sonic the Hedgehog completion time?" and "How much pizza did Bungie eat during the development of Halo 3?"

To celebrate the release of the book, the Guinness folks are hosting the "Guinness World Record Guitar Hero Marathon Relay," a record-breaking attempt at gathering Guitar Hero players from all over the world to play a cooperative marathon of Guitar Hero III songs.

The book features record-breaking games based on different categories:
Action/Adventure - Tomb Raider and Myst, among others
Shooting - Counter-Strike and Halo
Platform - Super Mario and Donkey Kong
Sports - Tennis games
Racing - Trackmania and Mario Kart

Indeed the gaming industry has become significantly popular that nobody can ignore or deny its influence in the world. Here's a statement from Guinness World Records regarding the release of their Gamer's Edition, from
"So why has Guinness World Records, the world's best selling copyrighted book, expanded into the world of gaming?" muses Guiness in a statement. "Because the gaming industry is too big to be contained in just a few pages of the annual book. As gaming records are one of the largest sections in the Guinness World Records database it only made sense to create the Gamer's Edition to highlight the amazing facts and figures that have made the gaming industry what it is today."

Enough said.

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EXHIBIT 005 - The horned pope
I apologize to those who may find this offensive but I swear this is the most interesting thing I ever saw today.

Check out for more interesting pics and optical illusions.



Second chance on breastfeeding and pumps
It's been a while since the last time I wrote about my pregnancy. I dunno, maybe I just don't feel that pregnant at all. Well, I do feel pregnant physically (God, my tummy feels so much heavier now than when I was this much pregnant with Issen), but mentally and emotionally, I guess I'm much more ready than I was during my first pregnancy that I'm not experiencing the usual jitters and craving to shop for baby stuff.

What I am excited about, though, is breastfeeding. Yes, I enjoyed breastfeeding Issen so much that I was so devastated when we had to stop. And I can't wait to be sharing that bond with my next baby, who, until now, remains nameless, but that's another story.

As I was saying, I was lucky that I didn't go through the usual first-timer breastfeeding dilemmas. Issen learned very easily to latch on to me, and I never experienced cracked nipples or extremely painful plugged milk ducts. Still, I know there are some stuff that could have made my breastfeeding easier and last longer.

One of them is making sure my milk supply is fully established before going back to work.

You need about six weeks of round-the-clock direct-feeding to do this. I only had three weeks. Issen had to stay at the hospital for one week after birth due to some minor complications, and though I was entitled to a two-month maternity leave, I had to go back to work a month after I gave birth due to manpower issues (I was not forced to go back to work, I just want to clarify that). So naturally, I was off to a bad start.

But I struggled and continued to express milk at work using the Avent ISIS manual pump that my aunt gave to me as a gift.

Lesson #2: Get a breast pump ideal for frequent milk expression at work.

The Avent ISIS manual pump is great pump, really. But using a manual pump 3-4 times a day can get really tiring. Eventually, I wasn't able to express milk on schedule because I actually dread going through the motions. I'm not proud of it, but you can't blame me either since I'm at the office for a reason. I'm sure you'll agree that being a corporate slave employee can be very stressful and tiring without you expressing your milk several times a day. And stress, it was proven, greatly affects your milk supply.

This time, I plan to invest in a battery-operated or electronic pump. This is the solution I came up so I wouldn't have the reason to NOT skip a pumping session at work.

It's a toss up between the Avent ISIS iQ UNO™ Complete Handheld Electronic Breast Pump and the Medela Pump In Style (PIS) Advanced Breastpump.

Both can be operated three ways - manual, battery-operated, or electronic. Actually, I'm leaning towards getting the Medela PIS, as it is made specifically for full-time working moms and it is highly recommended by my N@wie sisters, many of whom are experienced breastfeeding working mothers and some are certified breastfeeding experts.

So why am I still considering the Avent Uno? Because the Medela PIS is quite pricey - it costs more or less thirty grand (almost $750) here in the Philippines - and I might only be able to afford the Avent Uno, which costs a little over ten grand (almost $250) here.

Of course, I'm not gonna buy the pump here. That's why I'm saving up all of my paid blog earnings so I can buy whichever pump I can afford from eBay or other online stores that will ship to the Philippines. I'm looking at buying from eBay, though, because the price is significantly lower that other online retail stores, and that's already including the shipping fee. Don't worry, I've been doing eBay long enough to distinguish scammers and no-good greedy clowns from honest sellers.

Wish me luck in my quest to breastfeed my second baby longer and that my online earnings, by March or early April, reach as much as I need to get that precious Medela PIS.

I really need luck and hard work for both.

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Still "jitter"-ing
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
It's either I'm too excited or too nervous about the upcoming newbie poker tournament that I forgot to mention what kind of help I'm exactly looking for in the internet. I am looking for best casino online to teach me the basics of a poker game.

I've stumbled upon a lot of online casinos already, but their tutorials are just so hard to understand. They sound so complicated and I feel like I just wasted money to buy myself in to a beginner's level game.

So please, if you know a thing or two about poker, or if you could recommend a good, preferably free, website that can teach me the game, I would be forever grateful.



Pre-tournament jitters
My apologies for not being able to post more interesting entries the past couple of days. I spent the whole weekend, aside from spending quality time with my baby boy, trying out each and every Casino Online that's easy enough for me to understand.

As I mentioned sometime last week, some guys from work are holding a poker tournament for newbies, who will be coached by those who have their regular poker nights.

The weekend wasn't enough for me, though, to actually learn the basics of the game, much more get a couple of tricks and techniques. If you think about it, I only had about five hours total of "research" time last weekend as the little boy was extra clingy and refused to let me out of his sight.

Anyway, I really need to learn the tricks of the poker trade on my own. I'm not relying on those poker guys to be teaching me anything in thirty minutes as all of them are self-confessed poor teachers. Besides, my would-be pro coach would probably be too nervous to actually impart poker knowledge to me and I would definitely be too annoyed to understand and pick up anything.

I'm praying hard that this would be one of those times that the internet would be my savior.



Update: Official Philippine Bank Codes for Paypal Withdrawal
I just got an update from James from regarding the bank codes they previously released in their site.

You can now find the updated and more complete list of bank codes for Philippines banks eligible for Paypal fund withdrawal in this updated post from

They have almost 40 banks listed there, including international banks like BANK OF AMERICA, DEUTSCHE BANK, and JP MORGAN CHASE BANK, among others.

The list came from the Paypal page on eBay.

For the FAQ and more details on how to go about Paypal fund withdrawal to your Philippine bank account, click here.

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Vacation in the youngest country in the world
Monday, January 28, 2008
After Christmas, the next vacation families usually look forward to for travelling and recreation is the summer, which is just about a month from now.

Of course, to escape the scorching summer heat in the country, the most popular destinations are beaches or cold countries. You may find most of your preferred places crowded already so may I suggest a new place that's as relaxing and convenient as its more popular counterparts - New Zealand.

Yep, not much people go to New Zealand for vacation, but there is so much that the country has to offer. There's a place to go to whether you just want to rest and relax or you're in the mood for some adrenaline rush. Hotels in New Zealand are close to unforgettable sights.

Hotels in Auckland and Hotels in Christchurch provide you easy access to cultural attractions, the best in contemporary fine dining, cosmopolitan living and big city shopping. And if you're on a budget, you don't have to postpone that trip because New Zealand has lots of affordable alternatives for activities, transport, and accomodation, like the Hotels in Wellington.

So for a relaxing summer, go to a fresh place like New Zealand, where you'll experience a sophisticated society with very friendly people, at a fraction of a cost of your regular out-of-the-country vacation trips.



Partial list of bank codes for Paypal
Sunday, January 27, 2008
As of posting time, there are only five banks who disclosed their bank code for Paypal fund withdrawal, and they are Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) / BPI Family Savings Bank, Chinabank, Citibank / Citibank Savings, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and Metrobank. Check out their codes in this post.

Avid fan Senator GM Tristan posted a comment minutes after I posted my previous entry regarding the subject. Actually he asked something about using EON Card as a bank. Check out my reply here.

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Paypal allows fund withdrawal through local banks
Good news to my fellow Paypal users!

You can now withdraw your funds and transfer them to your Philippine bank account without the $5 fee. Paypal has added this option aside from withdrawing your fund to your credit/debit card. Check out this table for processing time and cost.

You would be asked to enter your name, bank name, the 9-digit bank code (ask your bank for this, I'm not sure if it's the same with the swift code), and the 1-16 digits (depending on your bank) of our bank account number.

Php7000 is about $170, so you might want to limit your withdrawal to that amount or more so you won't be charged anything. And yeah, the name on your Paypal account should be match EXACTLY to the name on your bank account to avoid problems. Here is Paypal's notice and guidelines for this concern.

For more details, log on to your Paypal account and click on the WITHDRAW tab.

This is definitely good news as I hear a lot of griping about Unionbank's EON card.

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Issuing a check?
I know a lot of people who have their own businesses and who issue checks to clients and suppliers on a regular basis. I may be the last person you'd listen to when it comes to managing finances, but I know of one thing that will surely improve your business on several levels - and that is to Order Checks that are customized in appearance to brandish your personality.

Look at it this way. Your clients and suppliers probably receive a lot of checks every day, and the one you issued will be "just another one of them" - formal and plain-looking. Unless you're issuing a check worth a hundred thousand bucks or if you handed the check to them on a silver diamond-encrusted platter, you leave them no impression. To them, you're just another client.

But you want to leave a good impression to your clients and suppliers so that you're the first one they think of doing business with. You want to maintain good relations with them to get more long-term business deals. And how do you do this when you have no hundred thousand bucks or a diamond-encrusted platter?

Order Checks that are personalized and show them you've got character. Issue them checks that stand out among the formal and plain-looking regular checks. You can even chose your own design, For long-lasting effect, you can chose to have your face or business name printed on your checks, so your clients and suppliers don't forget who they're dealing with. Or you can be subtle and choose a colorful, simple design that stands out nonetheless.

Follow my advice and get ready for more projects and businesses with your clients and suppliers. I assure you, business will grow. Just don't forget to share your blessings with me when that time comes. I accept personalized checks. :)



(Should be) Currently reading...
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I've been either too lethargic or too preoccupied the past few weeks that I'm now way behind my reading. By now I should have finished reading two books that we got last Christmas. I wanted ot take pictures of the books I'm talking about, to put more good use of my camera, but as I've said, I've been feeling too lethargic to the simplest of tasks. So I'll just use recycled images for now.

Here's a picture I took of Sikei holding Kingdom Come just after unwrapping his present last Christmas.

First things first, don't mistake Kingdom Come with a rapper's song (or is it an album?), the 2001 movie about a dysfunctional family (starring LL Cool J) or the glam rock band. The one I'm talking about here is the graphic novel published by DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman, and their friends. Written by Mark Waid and illustrated by the legendary Alex Ross, Kingdom Come is set some 20 years into the future of the current DC Universe. And I quote from the ever reliable Wikipedia:
" deals with a growing conflict between "traditional" superheroes, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League, and a growing population of largely amoral and dangerously irresponsible new vigilantes. Between these two groups is Batman and his assembled team, who attempt to contain the escalating disaster, foil the machinations of Lex Luthor, and prevent a world-ending superhuman war.

The series draws heavily on biblical apocalyptic imagery, especially that of the Book of Revelation."

I just finished the first chapter and I've just started on the second chapter so I am in no position to judge how it is. Actually, I don't think I'll ever have the right to judge if a graphic novel is good or not. I just don't think I'll be good enough.

The other book that I should have finished already is Mick Foley's Have a Nice Day : A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks.

Yep. Entertainment wrestling legend Mick Foley authored several books, and this is one of them. "It's the best autobiography I've ever read," were the words of Mr. Frost the wise. We were browsing through stuff at Fully Booked and he showed the book to me, which was to become one of his Christmas presents for me. Mr. Frost read the book again, usually during his restroom time just before taking a bath, and he finished it a couple of weeks ago. I'm still on page 17.

It's not that I don't find them interesting that's why I haven't finished them yet. I haven't stopped reading them. It's just that I have too much stuff on my hands and it's sad that I had to give up a lot of reading time.

I don't know how other moms do everything - attend to their husbands and children, do the housework, have a career - and still have the time and energy for some "me" time. I really envy those kinds of women, but that's another story.

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Do you know self-defense?
Friday, January 25, 2008
Even before we got married, Mr. Frost and I have decided to bring our kids up with martial arts and/or self defense training. No, we don't want our kids to be showboats or bullies, but we don't want them to be beaten up either. We just want them to be able to protect themselves. Of course we'll instill discipline as well so they'll use their training only for appropriate times.

My first choice is Muay Thai training, as I am impressed beyond words with Tony Jaa of Ong-Bak. As early as now, we're already scouting for venues for any Close Combat Training. We found several in the metro, but we still have to verify what they are teaching there.

Over the internet, however, I found Captain Chris' Close Combat website. He is apparently a World Leader In Self Defense. I'm curious about his program, which includes explanation of the different kinds of martial arts. Actually, they offer a free quiz/trivia where they'll "challenge you to see if you know what training discipline (karate, judo, krav maga, etc.) qualifies as a cultural fighting art, what is a combative sport, and what is real self defense." I took the test and found the results and answers very interesting and informative.

Captain Chris claims that his program will help you learn more about The Truth About Martial Arts, something that has been commercialized and "tainted" the past several years. In my opinion, the term "martial arts" has been corrupted well enough that only few can tell what it really is.

I guess the program is worth checking out. I'll be trying the "test drive" they're offering and let you know what I think of it. Better yet, why don't you try it yourself? You just might find it useful.

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Traffic Tag
Got this tag from Heidi. Here's the rule.
I have randomly selected 7 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 7 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)

It's real easy! Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially! The benefits of Viral Linking:
- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode! - Increase your Google PageRank fast- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site- Build your community- Make new friends!

The Strategist Notebook Link Addiction Ardour of the Heart When Life Becomes a Book The Malaysian Life What goes under the sun Roshidan's Cyber Station Sasha says Arts of Physics And the legend lives My View, My Life! GBex,Reaching out the other side of world Butchay Idealpinkrose Thinking Out Loud CHISMIS Winged Words Ambushed Thoughts.

Grab the tag, anyone wants more blog traffic! It's for everyone!

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Something good out of video gaming
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Here's something for video game critics, to all those who insist that video games are nothing but violence.

A gamer actually saved a life using information/abilities he acquired through playing video games.

You heard me read it right.

Paxton Galvanek of Silver Spring, MD witnessed a vehicular accident while driving along an interstate highway. His wife called 911 while he ran to the vehicle to help. He applied first aid to the driver who had critical injuries.
Paxton wrapped a towel he found around the man's hand, applied pressure to the wound, and instructed the victim to hold his hand above his head. He then attended to the head cut and determined that injury was not as severe as the hand.

Anybody who's had a medical training knows that when attending to accidents like this, you don't just "apply first aid." You have to be sure of what you're gonna do because one wrong move could be the difference between life and death. Galvanek's quick thinking and fast action saved the man's life.

"So this Galvanek guy must have had a medical training to know what he did. Big Deal."

Thing is, Galvanek never had a single medical training in his life. He learned of the methods he used to help this crash victim from the game America's Army.

This story makes me so damn proud to be gamer. At least I think I still am a gamer. My gaming hours have been significantly reduced since I became I mom. Still, I'm so proud for gamers.

Click here for the complete story.

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EXHIBIT 004 - Cobralyn and company
I got this image through an email a couple of years ago, I think. Kiven showed the pic again to me late last year, and boy we had a blast!

Check out the copy that came with it. Apologies to my English-speaking friends, but I can't translate the copy for you. It would do injustice to the one who wrote it if the humor and taste of his/her creation is lost in translation.
Si Dermalyn, mahinhin at reserved. Kapag ngumiti, hindi talaga niya inilalabas ang ngipin. Kapag tumawa, "hihihi" lang dapat.

Si Chonna Mae, marami nang balakid na pinagdaanan sa buhay. Bakas na bakas sa mukha. Definitely a strong person.

Si Choverlyn, dalaginding. Mayumi't mahinhin. Pero hindi nagba-bra.

Si Cobralyn, ang pang-resbak ng tropa ni Ederlyn sa kung sino mang babangga sa kanila. Pangalan pa lang, palaban na. Idagdag pa ang mukhang sintigas ng kamaong may kalyo.

Si Prudelyn, confused pa sa kanyang sexual orientation. Hindi pa raw niya kayang magsuot ng bandanna bilang damit.

Si Globalyn, global wonder girl/boy. Mukhang globo, katawang globo. Talented ito.

At si Ederlyn... ang star ng mga text message na kumakalat. Siya ang Queen Bee ng tropa niya, lubos na iginagalang, lubos na minamahal. RIP.

Siyempre pa, wag naman nating i-out-of-place yung nasa gitna nina Choverlyn at Cobralyn. Tingnan nyong mabuti. Yan si Wowie De Guzman!

My personal favorite is Cobralyn. Just look at "her" pout. Unbelievable.



Project: Newbie poker tournament
Okay, here's the deal.

I'm definitely gonna try out one of the Online Casinos available on the net to learn how to play poker. I need to learn poker, and I need to learn fast.


Because there are rumors going around that the guys who have their regular poker nights will hold a poker tournament at the office. Thing is, the only ones who can join are those who haven't played a single real-life poker in their lives. And only ten individuals can join.

During the tournament night, each newbie will have "pro" partner. Lots will be drawn to determine who goes with who. The pro have 30mins to teach the newbie the basics of the game. Then there's one trial game, no stakes, no buy-ins, but no bending of rules. This is one game that the pros can do full "coaching" to their newbies. After the trial game, the real gambling begins. Pros can still coach their newbies, but only to a certain level to be determined and finalized on tournament night.

There are a lot at stake, at least for the pros: honor, dignity, and of course, money. :)

One of the pros, who's been bugging me endlessly to join them on their poker night, is convincing me to join the tournament. He said it's gonna be fun, and I have nothing to lose because the newbies won't be spending anything. All the buy-ins and stakes will be shouldered by the pros, but the winnings will definitely be split 50/50 between the partners.

I'm actually considering it. He's right, I have nothing to lose, and it's definitely gonna be fun learning something new AND hearing the pros trash talk each other is an absolute bonus.

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The wonder called SHALA
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Before I forget, lemme greet my partner-in-crime, soul mate, and sister in spirit, ROSELLE, a very HABBERDAY!

As I mentioned in this post Roselle is one of the women who "showed me, in my young, innocent age of 18, how fucked up life can be and helped me grow up into a strong woman who can face life's cracks like a man."

And I quote her self-description:
SHALA - (noun) incorrigible, evil, uptight, moody, ultrasensitive, super jealous, shopaholic loud woman full of drama and exaggeration.
- (noun) funny, thoughtful, respectul, trusting, sweet, down-to-earth beautiful woman who excels in life with her confidence, her talents, her abilities, her wisdom, her knowledge, her achievements, her family and her love of God.
- (pang.) maldita, demonyita, walang buhay, sumpungin, matampuhin, selosa, tamang "h", mahilig mamili ng kakikayan at lahat ng kaya ng "plastic" at "paper", maingay na babaeng puno ng arte at kalabisan sa mundo.
- (pang.) mapagpatawang mapag-alalang magalang na mapagkakatiwalaang malambing na walang selang magandang babaeng nagtatagumpay sa buhay sa pamamagitan ng kanyang kumpyansa sa sarili, mga kakayanan, mga diskarte, mga kaalaman, mga katalinuhan, mga pagtatagumpay, pamilya at ang pagmamahal sa Diyos.

I can't complain with the blessings our Creator has showered me. God has gifted me with 4 very handsome boys, 1 very spoiled and beautiful princess Chloe, a very obsessed and very loving partner, and very few loyal and beautiful friends.

Indeed, she's all that, and more.

Cheers to you, Teng! Here are the birthday cakes that I'm "bringing" on the 26th.

And here's the star of the bunch! I'm sure you'll love this.



My tooth "dies" with Heath Ledger
While everyone is mourning the recent death of Australian-born actor Heath Ledger, I grieve the breaking of my tooth. Due to pistachios.

Yes, pathetic as it may sound, a pistachio broke my tooth. Although I'm not putting all the blame on the poor nut, because pregnant women tend to have weaker bones and teeth, thus the need for calcium supplement. Also, the damaged tooth was not really in its top shape. As I was not that keen on taking care of my teeth, the tooth was damaged by tooth cavity and was restored through temporary dental composite, or pasta as it is more commonly known in the Philippines. But I assure you I never had halitosis, just in case some jerk I know reacts to my poor dental care. See, I know how you think!

I feel so uncomfortable. I was told that I can't undergo any dental procedure because of my pregnant state. However, if it gets too uncomfortable for me, I'll go the dentist and ask him to do what he can do to make me feel better.

And no, I'm not gonna start hating pistachios because of this, so bring me all the pistachios in the world as my comfort food.

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My saviour
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I was kinda complaining yesterday that I'm having a boring and miserable day, wasn't I?

Well today was definitely not boring nor miserable. Thank God the mishaps did not continue today. I was kept busy by work and my new project, which will be disclosed to the public soon.

Anyway, I mentioned that my company-issued phone broke down yesterday. For the longest time, I was kinda proud that I didn't have to buy a mobile phone nor prepaid load because the company provides me with a unit and a post-paid line. For the longest time, I didn't find the need for a secondary phone. Until a couple of weeks ago.

Say hello to my secondary second-hand phone . I chose Nokia 6510 because I used to have one back in college, but I lost it just three months after I bought it. I loved that phone so much and I wasn't able to fully enjoy it. So when I thought of buying a secondary phone for G-cash purposes, I wanted nothing but a 6510.

I know it's so simple and doesn't have fancy features, but I don't care. I don't need those features anyway. I don't need a camera phone because I have nice digicam. I don't know what other features the latest more expensive phones offer, but I don't need them. I just need something for SMS and calls. My trusty and cute 6510 does that well.

And now that my primary phone broke down, I have my 6510 to save me from being fully disconnected from the world. I kept my personal SIM, inserted my company line on it, and voila! Instant reconnection.

I just hope hope it won't take too long for my other phone to be fixed so I can use my 6510 for the purpose I bought it for.



Wine 101
Remember the friend who wanted me to do tourist-guide duties for her visiting cousins? Well, she called again the other day asking me to go to a wine-tasting function of a particular hotel.

Apparently, her cousins are crazy over fine dining and drinks. Since the only drinks she's familiar with are beer and brandy, she wanted me to go so I can familiarize her with the different kinds of wine and help her appear to be more "cultured and civilized". What the?!?!

"What made you think that I know something about wines?" I asked.

"Aren't you the wine connoisseur back in college?" she answered.

She's definitely not talking about me.

Seriously, I know nothing about wines. Well, not really nothing, but they're not enough for me to be called a "wine connoisseur." I know that red wine is paired with red meat, like beef, lamb, and horse meat. Wait, I think lamb meat is considered as white meat, together with pork, chicken, and fish, and they are best paired with white wine.

As far as I know, there are so many other kinds of wine, and if I'm asked to name any kind that I know in 60 seconds, I can only name two that I've heard of and not necessarily familiar with: merlot and chardonnay.

I understand merlot is some sort of a wine base, something you mix with other ingredients to create another kind of wine. And this I assumed when I overheard, about a couple of years ago, a foreign-looking man tell his friend over dinner that "Merlot-based wines have hints of currant and plum and berry." It pays to listen to other people's conversations sometimes. :)

On the other hand, I heard of chardonnay thanks to Alanis Morissette and her song "Ironic". When I first heard the line, "It's a black fly in your Chardonnay...", I asked my dad what a chardonnay is. He said it's a kind of grape used to make white wine. End of story.

So there. That's what I know about wines. Now you tell me if, in case you're in the shoes of my so-called friend, you'' bring me to a wine-tasting event to help you broaden your knowledge on wines. And hey, even if you think I know enough, I still have to clear with my OB what kind and how much wine I could drink, IF I am allowed to drink at all.

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Where is my reset button?
Monday, January 21, 2008
And just when I thought the start of my week can't get any worse, it did.

As I mentioned, I woke up with a bad case of leg cramps. Then since my hormones have done a good job of try to glue me onto the bed, I got up really late and had to rush preparing for work lest Mr. Frost and SkyClad leave me behind. Bottomline, that's another reason for me to NOT want to go to work, because bathing and getting dressed was rushed.

Anyway, I brought some sort of rice cakes to eat at the office. Being the pregnant beast that I am, I was already hungry by the time we got to work about a couple of hours after breakfast. So I ate the rice cakes while checking my mail and doing my research. After a few minutes, I felt heavier than ever. I felt queasy, and when I looked at my the rice cakes, they're gone. There's half a roll left, so it's not completely gone. I brought four rolls of rice cakes and I realized that wolfing down three and a half rolls in less than 15 minutes will definitely make me feel weird.

Next in line to make my day more miserable was the fact that my company-issued mobile phone broke down. No warnings or signs whatsoever, it just stopped working. Well, first I was trying to call an officemate and I can't hear a damn thing. I figured there must be something with the speaker, but to be sure, I dialed my own number from another mobile phone, and it won't ring at all. It received the call and I can hear the ringing sound on the calling mobile, but no sound is coming from my own phone. I turned it off, thinking maybe a system restart will fix it, but then, it won't turn on anymore. Great.

I'll be bringing it tomorrow to have it fixed, on warranty hopefully, but God knows when I can used it again. And this happened just when I planned to back up the numbers and notes I saved on the phone memory and was hoping I could do so tonight.

On with the mishaps, it's probably because of lack of sleep, but I feel like I'm gonna be sick. I mean really feverish sick. And this made me feel more exhausted than ever. I just hope this fever won't push through. I cna't afford to be sick right now, for so many reasons.

As Mr. Frost usually says when he's having a bad day, I need a "system reset". As in go back to bed, wake up to a new day, and start over. I'm hitting the sheets now, hoping I can rest well enough to "reset."

Reading what I have written here, I definitely, absolutely need to restart my system. My brain isn't functioning well. Ugh.

I certainly hope tomorrow will be a better day.

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Monday wishful thinking
So far, the first day of the week has been pretty boring for me. Lifeless. Monotonous. Humdrum. Insipid. Give me more adjectives please! :)

The day didn't start well for me anyway. I was woken up by a terrible leg cramp. My body felt heavy and Mr. Frost had to practically use all of his energy to pry me off the bed. I so didn't want to go to work today.

Ironically, it's days like these that makes me want to try somethng new, something I don't usually do, like online slots at online casinos. I've never done that before because one, I'm not really into whatever sort of gambling, no matter how innocent it may be; and two, I don't have much resources to spare and use for gambling.

However, I find these things very interesting. And I want to know more how these sites give their patrons the best value for their money, including security. There are a lot players that log on to these sites everyday, and it's important I guess that those managing it are very professional, knowing how to establish a fair game for everyone.

Oh well, I just might try it one of these days. When there's not much work to do and I finally have enough extra moolah to enjoy these sites.



The quest for a ride to pimp
Mr. Frost and I are actively looking for a car. We realized our dire need for a means of transportation when we had to bring Issen to the hospital late at night for his allergies. Good thing SkyClad was still around, but we really can't rely on him forever, can we?

Having our own car is a big help also when grocery shopping at the nearby mall when it's hard to get a cab on the way home. It would also be useful in bringing Issen to the pedia and me to the OB for our check-ups. And Baby Frost #2 due a couple of months from now, I'd be confident that we can get to the hospital ASAP if we have our own ride.

Since we don't have the cash to buy whatever car we can afford, second-hand or brand new (but most probably second-hand), we're also looking at bank financing options and auto loans.

There are actually a lot of auto loans and fincancing that we can choose from, but it's getting the best one that suits our financial capacity that we have to consider. Good thing there are companies offering services to help you determine which auto loan is best for you. That could really save you a lot of time and resources, not to mention avoiding being fooled by scammers and huge hidden charges.

We certainly hope we find something at least before I give birth. I can't imagine experiencing labor pains in the middle of the night while standing by the roadside waiting for a cab. Ugh.



The third trimester begins
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Oh God, I'm feeling soooo pregnant all of a sudden.

I was kinda wondering the past few days why I get tired more easily than before, why my body seems a lot heavier, why I feel like staying bed longer than usual. Then I realized, my third trimester has begun.

Seriously, I know I'm pregnant and pregnant women weigh a lot more than, but man, I tell you, I feel like my arms and legs weigh a ton each. And would you believe I get tired feel exhausted just by reading Issen his books? correction, after reading Issen just two books. And mornings can be really hard. Aside from the leg cramps, Mr. Frost really has a hard time convincing me that I have to get up if I'm going to work or else we'll be late and SkyClad will kill us.

I can't wait to give birth.

I want to feel lighter and move more freely again. I want to have more energy to spend quality time with Issen. I know I'll have a newborn babe to care for, but you actually think I'll forget about other sweetpie? No way. And I really feel bad that I have so many restrictions when caring for Issen because of my pregnancy - but I don't feel bad about my unborn baby, don't get me wrong - and I want to make it up to him (Issen) as soon as those restrictions are lifted.

Aaah, the joys and pains of motherhood. I'm so loving every minute of it.

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The killer named Cancer
The father of an officemate recently passed away due to Lung Cancer. About half of the company are smokers, so it wasn't surprising that the usually-full smoking area was almost empty the day that heard the news. For one day, people were conscious of their cigarette smoking and became concerned of their health. The next day, there was no vacant seat in the smoking area again.

On my part, I began to think about the cancer history in my family and thought about the chances of me getting one. My maternal grandmother died of Breast Cancer. They sayif somebody in your family acquired it, the chances are bigger that you'll get it. It's one of those medical illnesses that runs in the family. I'm not sure how accurate that information is, but it won't hurt to be extra careful.

I believe my dad underwent treatment for Prostate Cancer several years ago. I'm 95% positive that women don't get prostrate cancer, but I have a son who might inherit it if it runs in the family too.

I need to do more research on these things. I'm not getting any younger and if I'm going to protect myself from these dreaded diseases, what better time than now?



EXHIBIT 003 - Astonishing RV
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Different kinds of motorhomes are very popular in foreign countries, most especially the United States. A motorhome is very convenient for those whose means of living require them to travel from one place to another on a regular basis. Trailer parks are also common living arrangements in many countries as this provide mobility and convenience at a very low cost. Recreational vehicles or RVs are the transport of choice for those who go on long road trips for vacation or camping.

Why am I talking about these things? Because you'll never believe what I found for Exhibit 3 of Ambushed Images.

Check this motorhome out:

Looks like a very nice, ordinary RV, right? Nice is actually an understatement, much more ordinary.

Because this baby is no ordinary RV. It's actually a modified garbage truck. You won;t believe me? Check out the exterior of the vehicle.

What can I say about the man who made this? Innovative. Creative. Pure G-E-N-I-U-S.

This vehicle has put garbage trucks in a different light for me.

Now where to buy garbage trucks for sale?

Credits: Living In a Garbage Truck



The mother ship and the mother's friend
I recently transferred to a new department in our company. Actually, the company I'm "leaving" is a subsidiary of the company I'm "moving to," so I'm literally going to the mother ship.

Anyway, the mother ship had it's very first "Post" Christmas party cum "mini" sportsfest last night at SM Bowling Center Mall of Asia. I didn't join the bowling "tournament" for obvious reasons.

After the bowling tournament, we had dinner at Italianni's. It was a fun night, all in all. Although the mother ship and the subsidiary share office at the same floor of the same building, and we're not really strangers to each other, it was still great to bond with a new group of people.

Alas, I have chosen to be discreet about my corporate slave professional life, and as much as I want to share the pictures taken that night, this is the only one I can post:

This reminds me of Janeane Garofalo's character in Mystery Men

I'd like to have one of those, even if I don't bowl. That would make a great conversation piece around the house. Heck, I'd even put it in my office table if I could buy it.

Anyhoo, a friend who's based in Canada went home recently. Good thing SM MOA was part of their itinerary that night or else I wouldn't have the chance to see her again. So I met up with her and her Canadian husband for a brief hi and hello while the bowling tournament was ongoing. Of course, we took a couple of pics.

International quality native bags behind international beauties Jezz and me.

With Jezz's husband, Craig. Oh lookie! A very pregnant me!

After dinner, I went back to the office, along with several officemates, because Mr. Frost was waiting for me there. We got back at the office a little past 11PM, but Mr. Frost wasn't bored. It was Guitar Hero III night at the office and he was having so much fun reliving his rock band days. I would have tried it myself, but I was afraid we won't go home at all if I get my hands on those guitars. That's another story, though.

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My unfinished EON-Paypal experience
Friday, January 18, 2008
As I promised, here are the details of my application for a Unionbank EON Debit Card. I haven't utilized the card yet, but let's talk about that later.

1. I applied for an EON Visa Electron card through their online application form.

2. After less than a week, I received an email notifying me that I could claim the card to my preferred branch (as indicated in my application) after 3 working days. I waited about five days just to be sure then I went to pick up my card.

3. I didn't encounter any problem in claiming my card since the bank staff considered my IDs valid. Click here to see the application requirements. I filled up some forms and paid the Php350.00 annual fee. I was informed that the card will be activated after 24 hours.

4. The next day, I enrolled in their Eon CyberAccount Online Banking After registration, I was informed that my account will be fully activated - meaning I will be able to access and manage my account online - after two days.

5. The same day, right after I enrolled in their online banking thing, I tried adding my EON debit card to my Paypal account. My card was rejected, though, and I assumed this is because my account isn't fully activated yet.

6. After 48 hours, I tried logging on my EON CyberAccount. I was able to log in and I was prompted to change my transaction password. After that, I was brought to the account dashboard and found the links necessary for online banking.

7. I then tried adding my card to my Paypal cards. Unfortunately, Paypal still rejected my card. Some threads said that I need to have some kind of transaction history for that account for Paypal to accept it.

Others said I need to have some credit in that account because Paypal will charge me $1.99 for verification purposes. But the status of my Paypal account is "Verified" already as I've used a different card to enroll my account to their Expanded Use program.

This is my dead end. I am stuck.

I am still unable to link my EON Debit card to my Paypal account. I have no immediate need to withdraw my Paypal funds, but I just hate stumbling upon roadblocks like this.

Can somebody help me please?

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Online Backgammon 101
Ever since I can remember, I am aware that the game backgammon exists. I always associate it with boardgames Snakes and Ladders and Chess. I never learned to play the game, though. I was too busy enjoying Snakes and Ladders. :)

Recently, however, some friends are practically begging me to try and play online backgammon with them. Naturally, I searched the internet since I have no idea how the game is played and I stumbled upon

Not only did they have something to teach you the basic concept of the game, they also have tips and guidelines on how you can make the most of your game online. It's available in six languages so you can be sure you'll meet a lot of players from all over the world. And I didn't feel intimidated at all because they have games for beginners like me, as well as for advanced players who've been playing for quite a while already.



35 years and counting
Thursday, January 17, 2008
IT'S NOT MY AGE, FOR GOODNESS' SAKE! (Not that I'll deny it when I really turn 35 seven years from now)

It's how long my parents have been married.

Today is my their wedding anniversary. They've been married for 35 long years. Of course, the ride wasn't smooth every single day, but they stuck together and are good examples of a lasting marriage. They are the living proof that despite , love, commitment, and faith can absolutely help a couple can stay together and withstand all the external factors that many nowadays claim to be factors of a broken marriage.

Anyway, I was thinking of what to give them as a gift. We're not really into giving fancy material gifts, but I really want to have something for them. Like me, they appreciate life's simple pleasures, so it shouldn't be hard to find a gift for them, right?

Not quite.

They're not hard to please, but if I'm gonna give them something, I might as well take their breath away, right? Well, I know they would appreciate a simple all-expense paid movie and dinner night, but unfortunately, my mom's health doesn't allow her to leave the house. Nothing serious, don't worry. It's just that she prefers to rest at home when she has cough, colds, and a little fever.

Having said that, I crossed another option off my list: casino night. My parents aren't big gamblers and they hardly go to casinos, but I'm sure they would enjoy a one-night experience at a casino. A friend suggested I introduce Online Casino to them. However, my parents are not so familiar with computers, much more the Internet, being in their late 60s. I can probably introduce them to this "new" technology, but I don't think they'd enjoy it anyway. They're among the many "seasoned" individuals who refuse complications and modern changes in the simple lives.

Oh well, I'll just have to come up with something. Something that won't burn a hole in my shallow pocket. And I need to do this fast.

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2008 Philippine Holidays
One of the things that Filipino "corporate slaves," a.k.a. the employed individuals, anticipate at the start of the is the schedule of official holidays. Yep, we work our butts off for these holidays - the long weekends, most especially.

Knowing what day the holidays will fall on allows us to plan and schedule our leaves and day offs so we can make the most of those holiday long weekends and make them longer.

So get your calendars and leave forms ready, my dear fellow corporate slaves, and refer to this partial list of non-working holidays, resulting to long weekends, from The Official Website of the Republic of the Philippines for whatever purpose it may serve you.

Tue 01 January - New Year's Day

Monday 25 February - EDSA Revolution Anniversary (Somebody commented that GMA loves to GMA loves to piss off the Aquinos these days so we shouldn't be surprised if this won't be declared as a non-working holiday. Hey, don't shoot the messenger, the rumor didn't come from me.)

MARCH - To the unholies like me, book your trip to the beaches! I, on the other hand, will be staying at home waiting for Baby Frost #2 to come out.
March 20 Maundy Thursday
March 21 Good Friday
March 22 Black Saturday
March 23 Easter Sunday

Monday 07 April - Araw ng Kagitingan (in lieu of Wed 09 Apr)

Monday 05 May - Labor Day (in lieu of Thu 01 May)

Monday 16 June - Independence Day (in lieu of Thu 12 Jun)

Nothing for July. It's my birthday month! Why didn't anyone important choose to be born or die during this month?!?!?! Just kidding.

Monday 25 August - Ninoy Aquino Day (in lieu of Thu 21 Aug & concurrent with National Heroes Day.)

Nothing for September either, except if you're still in school, there's Mama Mary's birthday on the 8th, that falls on a MOnday.

Monday 13 October - Eid'l Fitr (Hooray for our Muslim brothers!)

Saturday 01 November - All Saints' Day falls on a Saturday. Let us all join hands and pray that Friday, October 31 will be declared as a non-working day.

Monday 01 December - Bonifacio Day (in lieu of Sun 30 Nov)


Presenting, the mother of all holidays, the Adam and Eve of long weekends, we're giving a new meaning to the 12 days of Christmas with this 12-day long weekend!

1. Wednesday 24 December - Official Last-Minute Shopping Holiday, somebody said.
2. Thursday 25 December - Christmas Day
3. Friday 26 December - One of your leaves must be saved for this. Not many Filipinos go to work when a Friday is sandwiched between (do you really think Pinoys will go to work on this day???!!!)
4. Saturday 27 December
5. Sunday 28 December
6. Monday 29 December - Rizal Day (in lieu of December 30)
7. Tuesday 30 December - (refer to No. 3 above)
8. Wednesday 31 December - Last Day of the Year Holiday (declared by GMA)
9. Thursday 01 January - New Year's Day...
10. Friday 02 January - (again, refer to Nos. 3 and 7 above. Seriously, do you think anyone would intend to work on this day??!)
11. Saturday 03 January
12. Sunday 04 January

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