31 January 2005

The Blog Virus

Over the past few days, we have been working on making blogit work. There are still a few quirks, but our software guy is on top of things.

I was just pleasantly surprised because at this stage in our promoting blogging in our office, there have been a couple of people that went ahead and created their personal blogs! Previously, as far as I know there were only two of us here who blogged: me and Pauline. Then I learned that our software guy has his own blog too. That makes 3 of us.

We welcome three new people in the blogging community:
Chu the Man - Anthony (our colleague in Marketing) actually got a blog way ahead of Pauline and mine, but he never got to jumpstart it. He now has one again due to peer pressure :-)
Dessa Girl - Dessa is our good friend from HR. And she's got the blog virus real bad. ehehehe. She has nice posts rolling up.
Princess Em - Emily is one of our Managers who got to travel abroad last December, and is now sharing photos and experiences in her blog.

It's fun because we learn something more about each other; things usually considered trivial in a conversation but are unique traits of a person is reflected in the blog, and it makes these people even more unique and interesting.

So blog on!

29 January 2005

Visiting Narnia

First of all, thank you very much for Ms. Tatz for the pizza merienda break, and for Ms. Apple (Happy Birthday!) for the chicken dinner at the office. Sana araw-araw ganito sa opis!


I was visiting random blogs this afternoon when I came upon this post from Allthings2all. The noble lion Aslan in all his splendour behind a setting sun!

If you're not familiar with who Aslan is, then I highly recommend your visiting the wonderful, magical world called Narnia, where Aslan is ruler of all. I got my first does of magic and wonder back in high school through The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, where four kids got the adventure of a lifetime in Narnia. And I with them.

And a wonderful read it is! I can always vividly recall the crunching of the snow as the kids first stepped into a Narnia cursed with an endless winter, of sleeping in the woods with the beavers, of hiding underneath the bushes, devastated as the evil mythical beasts created a wild stampede, celebrating their victory after the fall of good, and of the joy in the coming of the sunrise.

I got all excited when I read the post from Allthings2all because I just learned that there is going to be a movie! Slated this coming December 2005, Andrew Adamson of Shrek and Shrek2 will be directing, and Lord of the Rings' Peter Jackson's WETA Workshop will be undertaking the completion of the sets. It is a thrill to hear of this, and it is assured that the overall theme and content of C.S. Lewis' masterpieces will be retained in the movie version. 2005 is looking up to be a great year for movie buffs!

So if you haven't read C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia yet, grab a copy today. Never mind if the book is targetted for kids aged 9-12 years old; I bought another copy of this book last year and it still wove its old, magical charm, prompting me to read most of the other books (there's seven in all). But I'd say The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is definitely the best.

News sources for the upcoming movie:
Narnia Web: The #1 Source for Narnia Movie News
Welcome to Narnia (Official Movie Site)
Into the Wardrobe :: a C.S. Lewis web site

[photo borrowed from here]

27 January 2005

Taking control of compulsive buying

Francis (an office colleague) and I went to Wendy's for lunch yesterday. And then we visited some electronic shops for a quick stop on what's new in the market. Oooh, MP3 players! Small enough to hang around your neck, yet powerful enough to hold 64 or more songs! And with an FM tuner to boot! All under 8K! The red, police car lights were flashing and sirens were blaring in my head (credit card dues! unpaid bills!), but I seem to be magnetically drawn to them, looking over all corners of the box and fiddling with the demo unit, hypnotized by these wonderful devies ... I'm a gadget freak. Guilty as charged.

Whoops! Saved by the bell! We had to rush back to the office. My interrrupted reverie resumed after office hours as I logged-on to this site and started checking how I can compare model stats.

My old N-gage beeped, signalling the arrival of an SMS. Suddenly it dawned on me that I am already holding an MP3 player with FM tuner, and with gaming and mobile phone functionalities built-in! And my phone already has 128MB in it. Whoa. Goodbye MP3 player...

Lesson of the day: Don't buy multi-function devices. :-)

PS. You might have the new N-gage QD in your shopping list: it does not have FM tuner and MP3 player built-in. Good news, or bad news? Good for me; I'm sticking with my old one, never mind the quirky way you have to hold it when making calls.

26 January 2005

Blogging in the workplace

We had our business planning a couple of weeks ago. It signalled a fresh slate to run fresh marketing ideas for the company. As our boss said, we need to bring back the fun in Marketing! He wants us to come up with new ideas to promote the company. We are quite lucky to have him as our boss.

Anyways, the group had some meetings prior to the planning, when Pauline said, "I thought about this last night. Why don't we use blogging as one of our communication tools?" Now, why didn't I think of that?!

We talked to great lengths about what the corporate blog should be about, and we communicated with our software group if we can come up with such a concept. And we have a name and logo for it already. The blog will be named blogIT; IT stands for Information Technology, our niche in the industry. BlogIT ... catchy name, isn't it? Only, I later discovered that blogit.com was taken already. So we took the next best thing: blogit.com.ph.

I presented this in the planning session, and this topic got a curious and enthusiastic response from management. One of the many questions was, 'what's a blog?' It was exciting to inform them about something I'm passionate about. I think I earned the monicker "blogger" and some of the people here would remark, "blogadoo!" when they see someone from Marketing.

Blogging definitely solves our perennial problem of coming up with the corporate newsletter, because when we complete one issue, the content is already outdated! It would have been nice if we can dedicate time for the newsletter, but as it is, we have other tasks to complete and deadlines to meet.

The blogsite isn't up yet. It's supposed to be online by this time, but the software guy is still working on it. Thanks to Yuga of ploghost for his assistance in the domain name reservation and answering my questions about the blogging technicalities!

We will be holding meetings with the different groups here to educate them about blogIT, and I'm sure some will even be interested to make their own.

Now this is fun!

24 January 2005


I'm not yet done with it, but excitement's got the better of me, so I hope you would pay a visit at http://baguio-quezon.info. This is a site I've been working on starting around November of last year.

The idea to come up with such a site was actually in my mind since 2000, when I worked with a web development company for 7 months. However, when I saw that baguio.com and baguio.net was already taken, this personal project took a back seat to my work. But it was always there, with some ideas popping-up every now and then. Some of these ideas are:

- a section where a collection of Baguio ghost stories will be placed. What's Baguio without ghost stories? But I was thinking about putting it in a message board instead...
- speaking of message boards, a section of this will be dedicated to comments on experiences with establishments and restaurants in Baguio City;
- a page to put in common Ilocano words to help the visitor haggle prices, or take jeepney rides the local way;
- a section on nice, unique things you can buy as mementos (dare I include the naughty woodcrafts?);
- a section on local traditions? Though this will take a lot of research on my part ...
- a map of Baguio City. This I got with permission from Cunanan Maphouse, and I'm currently working on it.

So many ideas, so little time...

And then I got married. And I liked my wife's province of Dolores, Quezon too, so I decided on baguio-quezon. Unfortunately, my wife hasn't given me much so far to put up for that half of the site aside from its history which her friends sent me.

I'm currently looking for a nice, free message board I can put up to add interactivity to the site. If you have suggestions, do let me know please. Thanks.

The site is still under construction. I did the lay-out from what little I know of html; my objective is to let the visitors see a Baguio in the eyes of someone who was born and lived there. And hopefully the site would eventually evolve to something that will raise awareness in the people for nature conservation. Of course, that's ideally speaking. Easier said than done, huh?

I will try to put in new information as my schedule permits me. In the meantime, I do hope you can give me suggestions for the message board and other things I can include there to make it more fun (hey, what about recipes!). Just don't ask me to change the layout! :-)

[This is cross-posted in http://baguio-quezon.blogspot.com]

18 January 2005

Kung Fu Hustle: a movie review

If you've watched Shaolin Soccer and enjoyed it, then you will definitely find Kung Fu Hustle an even better movie.

It starts off with a rather grotesque scene involving axes and body parts. My initial thought when we watched this movie was, "This is sick." And a bit sick the movie was. Which may be one reason why the movie is so unforgettable. I mean, is a person with three knives stuck on him funny at all? And yet, everybody in the audience was laughing at this particular scene, undoubtedly one of the funniest in the movie.

The story revolves around a person who thought that he was good-for-nothing. He was quite idealistic, and would have stuck to his principles through and through were it not for opportunists and his diminishing sense of worth.

But he was meant to perform great deeds. And in the latter part of the movie, his principles dominated over the wrong path he chose for himself.

Many of the faces in Shaolin Soccer comprise the cast, with the addition of other memorable characters complete this movie of martial arts and comedy. Even the ending was perfect, a slow musing of sorts after the intense laughter and action.

Catch this movie. It's a blast.

16 January 2005

Home is where the TV is

There are some things whose presence you typically ignore until it gets taken away from you. And then you miss it terribly.

We had a company meeting last weekend in Tagaytay. I usually get to stay overnight in these areas as part of a business trip; I really would not intentionally set-off anywhere unless necessary; put me in front of the TV and hand me the remote, or give me a good book and I'd be content right where I am.

The setting was quite nostalgic. We got to stay in wooden cottages. I made a beeline for our cottage assignment and guess what I looked for first: The TV and cable channels available: my two companions for late night work and among the last things I see before getting a shuteye.

I miss TV.

It was unbelievable but somehow I managed to get through the night. And early in the morning, I opened the door to a dewdrop-laden, foggy, overcast morning. A cool breeze wafted by and I crossed my arms to brace myself from the cold. Ah, it was a nice change, waking up to the sight of a wide sky, and sub-urban surroundings.

And it made me miss home too.

10 January 2005

Interesting Blog articles from Time Magazine

Blogger.com is advertising this on the signed-on page. There are interesting reads in Time Magazine, aside from the accolade Blogger received as being the most popular service.

Visit the link below:

Blogging is here to stay.

08 January 2005

The lava lamp

Though it looks really simple, the lava lamp is actually a delicate balancing act of two substances (one is solid, the other liquid) that have similar densities. But when their environment is heated up (via a lamp at the bottom on the container), the solid substance's molecules expand, and in this state it becomes less dense than the surrounding fluid. Hence it rises to the top of the container. However, as it distances itself from the heat source, it cools off and eventually descends to the bottom. This effect is repeated over time, the globules rising and descending, merging and dispersing, a mezmerizing dance in space.

The delicate combination of substances can be replicated at home. A simple Google search for "lava lamp" will reveal several sites about this 60s novelty item. However, it is very difficult to replicate, and may even cost more than buying the actual thing.

This was part of my request to my gift-giver in our kris-kringle last December. Have I mentioned I'm a sucker for novelty items? This lava lamp is a cool gift suggestion, a unique alternative to the usual tabletop items, photo frames, accessories and clothing.

05 January 2005

A lightning ball from my mommy

Part of the holiday fun in our office is the kris kringle. The cost of the gift is tagged at 500 pesos, but being the wish-a-boss-picked-my-name kind of people, many would post gift requests at the bulletin board that cost at least three times more than the suggested price. Perfume and branded clothing are a popular choice. These posted requests, also by custom, are met with witty and funny comments written beside the notes. Others are more considerate, and would put in at least three choices so their mommy/daddy would have more freedom to choose.

I put in three things in my wish list: a lightning ball (the comment on which was, would I need a UPS to make this work?), a lava lamp, and a Dilbert book. The first two items cost between 700 - 800 each, while the book costs around 600. It was just a wish list after all. And I love novelty items.

Lucky me! I learned beforehand that my mommy wanted to give me more than 1 item. The 'proxy' approached me and informed me about this. They had to let me know because they didn't know where to look for these! So the proxy and I shopped for my gifts. The Dilbert book is out of stock, so I got the lightning ball and the lava lamp instead. Whoopee! I felt like a kid getting what I wanted for Christmas. The not so good part is, my wife thinks I bought these for myself. *Sigh*

And guess what. My colleague Pauline gave me a Magic 8 Ball! What a fun holiday it had been.

03 January 2005

PinoyBlog Christmas Party photos

I have uploaded additional photos to flickr as mentioned in my post about the party below. Please click here to access.


PS. I have this other account in another photo sharing site that enables you to put up a gallery of photos right into your blog, with an enlarged photo at the right and thumbnails at the left, all in one post. Then click on a thumbnail and this photo will show up at the enlarged section. But somehow I lost all traces of where that site is. If you know what I'm talking about, I will appreciate a holler. Thanks!

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