Friday, October 22, 2010

Fridays can be a pain

I really don't know why traffic jams have to happen on Fridays.

We left for home at around 4 in the afternoon. What time did we arrive? 5:40 PM. That's more than one hour's worth of travel, quite long considering that we left that early. I didn't really "feel" the traffic since I fell asleep in the car. When I woke up, we were on a different route (kinda like the backdoor route) because our usual one was jammed.

And now they're even planning on increasing the toll fees? They should at the very least fix the traffic problems first! The planned increase is quite big, and it will definitely produce a domino effect in terms of commodity prices. The only compensation are jam-free traffic but they (those people in charge of our roads) are not capable of giving us that.

I dream of a time when roads are not packed and going home from work would only take 10-15 minutes...which is only possible from 10 PM to 6 AM, and on holidays when majority of the people are on vacation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Helping Tigers

From the WWF website:

There are as few as 3,200 tigers surviving in the world's forests in this, the Chinese Year of the Tiger.

The scientists say the situation is so bad, that the tiger faces extinction in the wild by the time of the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.

WWF will not let this happen. Instead, we want to double the number of tigers by 2022...

How you can help save the tigers.

On Verne and Cuttlefishes

Ever since my mom bought me classic books that were "summarized" for kids, I've always admired the mind of Jules Verne. And H.G. Wells. But this is about Jules Verne, so Wells can wait.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has been one of my favorite books as a child. And I got about to reading (and finishing) the real book, or e-book if you will.

Do I still like it as much as I did when I was a child? Definitely.

But I never thought that it had so much math.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea probably isn't what we'd really call sci-fi these days since what Verne has written in that book more or less exists today. Maybe except for suits that can withstand the water pressure, but still. Submarines? Battle tactics in the water? Awesome shiz.

And I've always wondered... If it really was possible that there were really, really large cuttlefishes. Or octopi. (I love saying that word.) Squids, I can imagine. But a giant cuttlefish (was about to write "cattlefish" like this one Thai food packaging that I saw before) that can easily carry, suffocate and crush a full-grown man with one tentacle?

Mutants, I say.

Or maybe, there really were giant, giant cuttlefishes. Maybe there still are.

Nobody has really ventured deep enough to discover what's lurking in all those dark and cold waters. Heck, for all we know, the Itchyosaurus still lives, feeding on all those lanternfishes and --ugh-- lampreys... Scary, scary lampreys.

I've always been afraid of waters where I can't see my feet anymore. Why? Because as a child, I've always thought that a large alien with mechanical tentacles is lurking underwater...and the moment it sees my feet, it will drag me down and I will drown. only occurs to me now that maybe the alien doesn't really want me with all that water in my lungs. That it probably has some kind of mechanism or technology that will help me breathe underwater until it brings me to its lair deep in the crevices of the ocean, far away from human eyes.

Or outer space.


I find Captain Nemo amazing though. I like the guy. He's honorable. Only, I wonder how he amassed so much money to build the Nautilus. Wish I had that money. Or Nautilus for that matter...

Except that I can't go as deep as they did because the water pressure's gonna crush the vessel like some scrap metal. I read that the Nautilus wouldn't be able to withstand that many "atmospheres" if it were in the RL setting.

I mentioned earlier that there was quite a bit of math in the book. They kept mentioning that "atmospheres" and during the first few parts of the book, I thought they were referring to the pressure of the actual atmosphere - as in the layer of gas that surrounds Earth. I just did a bit of googling that I found out that atmosphere (atm) is a unit of measurement for pressure. It's used by scuba divers today or something.

I always learn something new everyday. Even in math...though I can't say I fully grasp the computations and stuff haha.

I'll be reading The Mysterious Island next. It's said to tell the history of Captain Nemo or something.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Impatience is not a virtue

Yesterday, the President gave like a progress report of what he's been doing for the past 100 days.

Some people were happy.
Some people were unhappy.
Some people were indifferent. *ehem*
Some people rallied.

Okay, personally, I don't get the point in rallying for something. Sure, you're being outspoken about your convictions, principles and whatnot, but I saw two students in this Town Hall Meeting of the President's last night. I found it rude that they were in such a meeting and they were holding out pieces of paper that had their rants written on those. They were quite loud too.

Kudos to P-Noy for staying calm and letting these two girls finish shouting their cause (although in hindsight, that's exactly how anyone in that position should act in scenarios like that right?).

Then those two students were escorted out.

I find that very embarrassing. There are other ways to make a point =_=

Anyway, in more INTERESTING topics:

cachalot, sperm whale

This is a sperm whale.

Also known as a cachlot back in the old days.

clowder of cats, glaring of cats

And this is called a clowder of cats.

Alternatively, a glaring of cats.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today I went home early

That means more time to play with the babies!

During the ride home, we were discussing OtaKai and the new buzz that the new members are creating... About how much money they've spent on their toys. And how I found my name popping up every now and then when the discussion on Plurk centers on the cost of toys.

We were discussing about how much people seem to think that I spend so much money on my toys. Yeah, I admit that I've spent quite a fortune in building up my collection but I guess most people have the conception that I buy everything at their retail price.

Haha I don't think they seem to realize that I've a knack at finding bargains so I've gotten good deals on some of my collection.

That's what my dad said too.

Instead of bragging about how expensive a certain toy is, I actually brag about how much discount I got when I acquired it.

Then we moved on to the topic of photography.

And how much I suck at it.

Well, at least I have them to take pictures of my toys right?

Monday, October 4, 2010

On Hamlet and Facebook Statuses

So last night, we were stuck in another traffic jam. Me, my dad and my younger sister often find ourselves discussing anything and everything we can think about. I usually join the conversation when it's not about current events or anything political in nature. I suck at that subject.

Going back, I was just listening to them talking as I was too lazy to join their musings.

Last night's main topic: Quotes.

They were discussing something about the current goings-on in the country pertaining to the health bill or something. Then it shifted to the different quotes that people seem to use all the time, but it's taken out of the context.

My dad cited the "Familiarity breeds contempt" quote that we always, always hear. He said that that isn't all there is to that quote. He then recited the whole -- proverb? -- that ended with the line, "and familiarity breeds contempt." I cannot fully remember what the whole -- proverb? -- is. (Gotta ask him one of these days.)

Then my sister said that the same thing goes for the "To be or not to be, that is the question" from Hamlet. More often than not, people just cite that FIRST line. I doubt they even know where they come from and as my sister said, "They [the people who use that quote] probably don't even know that it's about suicide."

Yeah, first time I heard that quote was from one of those really old 5 to 10-minute cartoons wherein a wolf was trying to recite the whole dialogue as a theater act. He never got past "To be or not to be--" as a pig would throw tomatoes on his face.

Good times.

So then they moved on to Facebook statuses. My dad always, always (without missing a day) posts quotes every morning as his Facebook status for the day. He quips that sometimes, people don't get the context of the quotes he posts. There are instances when he posts stuff that are meant to be inside jokes for him and his friends and they exchange witty comments centering around that quote. There are people who become defensive and they reply all too seriously. Guilt perhaps?

Then there are people in the younger generation who post quotes whose sources aren't cited and their friends who don't know better think that this person has just spewed out something so remarkable and...*drum roll* ORIGINAL.

All I cared about posting primarily showed how much of a geek I am and the subjects I'm interested in:

"99, you are a hero. A very awesome hero."
"'I need TP for my bunghole!' - Gawd I miss you so, Beavis."

See how "witty" I can be?

Anyway, this is the start of the Father-Daughter saga. I will document the gist of the daily ride-back-home conversations's fun.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not feeling too dandy

Days like this, I just want to go home and snuggle with my dogs.

I have 7 dogs at home (the 8th is with my grandmother). The one pictured above is Piper, my American Bulldog. As much as I exercise equal treatment to all my dogs, Piper really stands out when it comes to being branded as a favorite.

She's actually more like a human than a dog XD

Her fur's super soft so it always has a nice feeling when you scratch her, although she doesn't take too kindly on strangers. And and... She lets me rest my head on her side~~~

Sigh... I want to go home nao!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tramps like...who?

"In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected and steppin out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young
`cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run"

My friends and I were drinking a couple of weeks ago as a post-celebration for my birthday. We just kept laughing and reminiscing about how our lives were when we were in high school.

High school really was a good part in my life. Lots of fun memories, and I think it was the time when we all started to think about what we wanted to do in the future.

"Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
And strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
Well run till we drop, baby well never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
`cause baby Im just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild, girl I want to know if love is real"

But of course, plans that you make when you're in high school won't really happen unless you win the lottery or you're willing to make sacrifices for it. Thinking about it, those dreams that we had back then are what we really want in life, but sadly, life doesn't go that way.

We're a tight-knit group of 6. One's a law student, two are involved in their family businesses and 3 of us are in the corporate workforce. So much for the connected dreams that we had almost a decade ago. So much for running a business together lol. We got caught up in our own lives and though we still talk about those plans up to now.. That's all they are to date: plans.

"Beyond the palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rear-view mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss"

Later that night, after several bottles of beer and a shot too many of vodka, one of my friends who's in their family business told us that he wants to become an employee. He wants to experience what me and our two other friends experience being a corporate minion: the deadlines, the crunch times, quotas (if there were any).. He wanted to know how it would feel like being in the workforce.

Me and my other friend (the third one's absent) were looking at him as if he told us he built an actual, working time machine. And we asked the one question that made him speechless: "Why?!"

"The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight but there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy well live with the sadness
Ill love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when were gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go and well walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run"

Then came a tirade of why his life (being the sole heir to their business) was so much better than being an employee.

And we came to a realization.

Not to put ourselves up on the pedestal, our lot? we're not poor. We all went to private schools whose tuition fees grant it its status as one of the most expensive schools in the Philippines. We travel to other countries. We still live in our parents' houses and we don't pay a single bill (and our parents don't ask for money). Our necessities - food, clothing, transportation - our parents still shoulder those.

Yes, our full salary belong to us only. We blow our money like there's no tomorrow and we don't have to worry if we run out because there's always a house we can go home to where there's water, electricity, internet (yes, I did include that) and food.

So in all honesty, we don't know what it's like to work for a reason. We work because we don't have anything else to do and we need money to buy our stuff - I use my money to buy my toys and for my dog's vet fees (my dad shoulders my dogs' food). We don't know what it's like to do overtimes like crazy just to earn the extra peso. We don't know what it's like to work our butts off so that we may provide food on the table. Our lot, we're ignorant to these things.

So whenever our nannies tell us how it was like for them to grow up.. I can only understand what they're saying but I cannot empathize because I do not know what it's like to be in their shoes.

Sad? Probably.

(Lyrics: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen)