06 September 2006

Sweating it out with Sudoku

I accompanied my wife to Baguio last Sunday because she had a lot of books that we still bought from the Book Fair from different booths but each order was not bulky enough to request for delivery, so these had to be hand carried. So I was not able to report for work last Monday. Instead, we used the time to renew my passport, and my wife applied for hers and Jo-Lo as well.

The early morning saw us riding a bus enroute to La Union where the nearest Department of Foreign Affairs is. As with other government offices, this place was very modest in terms of facilities, and for instructions you need to ask the help of the security guard, or an occasional employee who were quite burdened with the workload. I rather think workload is inversely proportional to courtesy because the more work being handled by the employee, the more direct with a hint of sarcasm they tend to be with the applicants. Good thing we came dressed rather different from the others, for we did not encounter such a treatment. At any rate, kudos to the employees there who were obviously doing their best to do crowd control and at the same time efficiently serve the most number of applications they can handle.

We also had to drop by the National Statistics Office to have Jo-Lo's birth certificate authenticated. At the counter were signs where you can get certificates for birth, marriage, death, and cenomar. Uh, what's cenomar?

So there we were in this hall with no electric fan or airconditioning. It was a warm day, and we found ourselves sweating in our clothes. My wife whipped out her fan while I fished around in my bag for some books. I took the Kwentong Tambay by BatJay and gave it to my wife while I swapped between Newsweek and Reader's Digest. Yep, I have anticipated the long waits in this kind of transactions.
Mga Kwento ng Isang Sira-Ulong Overseas Filipino Worker
Soon enough, my wife was giggling as she showed me random parts of the book. That's BatJay for you. Humor in anything under the sun. If you are familiar with his blog, then you know his antics. Humor for mature audience included! We bought the book at the Book Fair and was available only in that event. It's not out in stores yet. It only has limited print so buy one when you do get the chance! It's well worth the 100 pesos.

BatJay adds:
"Karamihan ng material sa book ay galing sa blog ko - in particular, our singapore years. however, the book contains "exclusive entries" that you will not find in my blog."

So, as Manuel L. Quezon III exclaimed: "Buy na! Now na!"

And then I remembered I also brought along the Sudoku book and thought I'd try my hand in it. Basically, it's a grid with 9 squares each side, with these numbers grouped into 9s. Some of the squares are filled. It's up to you to write the missing numbers from 1-9, making sure that the number is not repeated in a row or a column, or in a group of 9. Sounds tricky? Yes it is. But when you get the hang of it, solving the puzzle is fun!

It's rather difficult to concentrate there though, due to the heat, and you have to occasionally leave your chair and join the crowd when they shout the names of those who has passed stage 1. My first set of attempts ended up in erasures and errors. But by Puzzle 5 (we were no longer in DFA), I was finally getting the hang of it and enjoyed Sudoku immensely.

Sudoku is a logic puzzle that has been popular in Japan for about 20 years already but was just introduced in our shores late last year. Sudoku means "single number".

Visit your favorite bookstore and buy a Sudoku puzzle book today. It's inexpensive, and best of all, it's fun! People unfamiliar with this will even wonder what a math genius you are as you go through the grid. But there's no mathematical computation required!

17 comments:

  1. Sir Nick! Yung laman ba ng book ni batjay almost same rin ba ng mga posts nya?

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  2. cenomar means: CERTIFICATE OF NO MARRIAGE RECORD

    hehehehe :P

    ayos ba, parang kinasal na noh :P hehehehe

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ann, basically it's a compilation of his best posts. I think. I really haven't explored his old posts. But he has other blogs too so incorporated din mga short poems nya. It's rediscovering his writing prowess on paper!

    Alam mo Follen, hula namin Certificate of no Marriage nga. Pero meron bang ganun? Certificate for nothing? Apparently, meron nga. hehehe!

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  4. I knew it. You'd be hooked on the logic puzzle too. Enjoy some more, Nick!

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  5. sumasakit ang ulo ko dun sa sudoku! pero nakakaaddict nga....

    Hi Nick! Just visiting and catching up on your previous posts. Ginutom ako :D

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  6. Mr.Watson sana sa Fixer Line ka pumunta para mas madali, 100 Pesos lang ang lagay.

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  7. thank you nick sa pag feature ng libro sa blog mo. pangalawa na ito.

    maigi naman at napatawa ko ang asawa mo. biro mo mainit na, natawa pa rin siya. hehehe.

    karamihan ng material sa book ay galing sa blog ko - in particular, our singapore years. however, the book contains "exclusive entries" that you will not find in my blog.

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  8. origami book, don't tell me you can make those,like the ever famous tsuru?

    Sudoku,never tried that yet,mahina ako sa math,eh.

    why getting a passport also for the baby? have plans on going to TDL or tokyo disneyland? incidentally,my 3 kids are in disney sea now,ayaw akong pasamahin,istorbo daw ako,lol!

    Hi to you watson,nice plugging jay's book,i want a copy for myself,too!

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  9. Sudoku is not a math puzzle even though it involves numbers. Its just knowing where to put numbers in the right place, like a crossword.

    I play sudoku as well but on the Nintendo DS. Brain Age has a superb Sudoku puzzle collection that utilizes the stylus. I will probably get Sudoku Gridmaster as well when I finish Brain Age Sudoku.

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  10. hindi ko pa nasusubukan ang sudoku pero parang duduguin ang ilong ko kasi numero yan e.

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  11. I used to do the daily suduko puzzle in the paper but since Little Abbey, I hardly have time to even read the paper much less do the puzzles. They are very addicting that's for sure.

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  12. Self-important bureaucrats exist in the Philipines? No way man! I thought my country had the monopoly on those!

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  13. Thanks Abaniko! Without you and Owen, I would never have learned about this puzzle!

    Ako nga rin eh JMom when I look at my posts! hehehe

    Talaga Rey? Ummm... we managed naman kahit paano. Yung hitch lang eh kelangan i-authenticate birth certificate ni Jo-Lo tapos smooth sailing na.

    Thanks for that added info, BatJay!

    Hi Sachiko! Bakit ayaw ka isama ng kids mo? Parang mag-sisters lang kayo ah!

    Jgotangco, ang galing ng Sudoku ano? On a DS? Wish I have one too.

    Hello Ed. It's wonderful when the numbers look like they reveal themselves and then you get stuck again, and then it reveals itself.

    Hello Phil. You'd be surprised :-)

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