Monthly Archives: March 2008

When Humans Are Smarter Than Computers

Computers are getting smarter beyond humans’ pace, more dangerous in the hands of technologically savvy scammers. Yet, is it a paradox that no matter how smart these boxes are–they still have metal brains, not mental ones, thus still devoid of imagination that only the BIG Man upstairs can create. Picasso and his art, Shakespeare and his poetry, Einstein and his science down to Steve Jobs and his Apple/Mac or Bill Gates and his PC computers are great men with great visions but still no match to this humble Man that has only the Hammer to his name.

As smart as computers are, they can no more differentiate the Man with the Hammer from the man with the Hummer as well as the internet scams from internet scums…could they? In my simple mind (my exaggerated interpretation only to prove a point), the Man with the Hammer has an endearing humility as opposed to the man with a Hummer has a pretentious vanity. On the other hand, the scammers are the scums of the world-wide web, or simply the world.

Let’s see if samwar11 would still claim this post as his own. If you have the chance to see this at http://travel.propeller.com where the entries are not static; entries can be hurled anywhere in the 27-page site as the propeller rotates (just my own deduction). I can almost bet that within an hour of posting this, the ‘blog scraper’ will take this to www.flyhotel.net … I will even bet my 3cents (inflation) on it! Beware internet scums as I’m writing this to let others know of internet scams. If you have no plug-ins to block this blog scraper, google your site or your name. It wouldn’t hurt you to visit these places I mentioned. I’m sure there are more. Spread the word and if you want to read Mixxy’s comment about this scam, scroll down to check …PhP5,000 comment. Here is my recent comment to Mixxy:

Mixxy, it’s sweet revenge. I checked his site- www.flyhotel.net just now, 5:30pm. He must have ‘scraped’ it within  an hour of my own posting here since it was showing  4:21 pm at his site.

It pains me for the world to see my misspelling  errors, but hey…the entire post is supposed to be a learning tool. Ha ha ha! I guess I have to post something again. Hmmm, I might even leave it as it is until he himself discovers his blunder.

It’s ironic how technology is getting smarter and smarter beyond any human’s pace, yet it’s still the human brain that makes the ultimate decision. I should post more so as not to disappoint him. (For now, sunwar11, as he claims to be when shamelessly posting my article at that ‘propeller’ site, will be ‘him’ to me rather than her or it.)

———————————————————–

UPDATE: 5/29/08

I used to check www.flyhotel.net every now and then as I was curious what would happen to it when I blog its blog scraping technique. Someone suggested that I should report it to google, but for some reason, I don’t think it was doing me any harm except that I was irritated to see my family picture on that website, and maybe because almost the complete blog was in his website. The comments were even turned off and no reference to the owner whatsoever…even submitting the blog to propeller.com as his own writing.

I’ve seen it having no more AdSense after a couple of weeks and I kept wondering why it continually runs the site. Today I couldn’t find it except for the previous google index that has warnings below the title– “This site may harm your computer.” I even went to my post here to get the link from within, and it gave me the same search result. Well, I guess it’s really gone after almost 3 months since my discovery. Maybe I will miss this routine of checking his site. I should probably be writing a separate blog for its demise.

 

Truly My Penance, or My Angel Must Be Working Overtime

“At first I was pleasantly surprised that somebody has my add, but when I tried to dig further my whole sight was hacked I suppose. The I googled ‘what is flyhotel.com and it took me to another web site: http://travel.propeller.com and I saw my blog articles under surwar11 and before I finally decided to print the page(s) I was able to print the remaining what-makes-this-week-holy and after I have checked the 27 pages I tried to back track from page 6-1 and I couldn’t track it anymore. Must be the name propeller.
 
It’s past 3am and I’m still awake! This must be my penance for the Holy Week. Take care everyone — Me” 

—————(Answers appear at the bottom)——————————————-

I’m am ssoooo ashamed of my email misspellings above! I sent it to my sister, her husband, and my nephew with the heading I am so mad! and I should have said I am so tired and soooooo sleepy but I just couldn’t stop. This is exactly why I couldn’t emphasize enough to my students, the importance of proofreading…now I plead guilty.

Could’ve, would’ve, should’ve…I could have corrected my errors for the world not see it, but I want it to be just another lesson. Maybe I would even include it here as another category: errors, corrections, what else? Just another lesson in English! For now I am consumed with getting back to this wonderful-piece-of-whatever…I know–sigh!–I have to remind myself it’s still Black Saturday and I must have some angels already working overtime, more than what I’m doing.

 Hmmm…Mixxy must be one of my angels. I just stumbled on her blog before all my discoveries and when I decided to do some email venting I found her comment too. If you scroll a few entries down to–What Will PhP5000 Buy You in the Philippines?–you must read her comment(s)! The first one warmed my heart, and I found it at the right moment. It made me sleep better when I finally hit the sack at 4am.

I can manage the sleeping at 1am and waking up at 5am on work days, but after 2am you might as well have given me a glass of wine. I never had the hang-over effect; I can only guess it’s very much like it–not fun. Waking up I can tell I will virtually experience the Black Saturday phenomenon. I’m looking forward to my spring break coming up.

Though today I must go through the day as best I can. Ohhh…I have my husband’s drum parts to mail (another post), but maybe the main post office might just observe Black Saturday. Move on to the next agenda; blog, blog, blog the B! Just  then Mixxy has an answer again, and another one…very important lesson learned! That’s why she’s my God-sent angel while Jesus is dead. Oh, boy…I know He died for me too, but does He have to include saving these riff-off artists?

It makes me feel better I’m not the only one (strength-in-number kind of feeling), and surely I’ll look into her suggestions. Not just now that I’ve already calm down, and starting to really feel that general heaviness in my body: my stiff fingers can hardly hit the right key, my drooping eyes ready to close, my spinning head almost banging the key board, and I still have to wash the bed sheets for my brother-in-law and his son as they’re staying here tonight. I must wait…I need a clear head to do all the plug-ins. (Last night reading about ALink in Bob Martin’s blog, I was about to install it…light bulb moment I’m not ready to sweat it out.) I guess my night was meant for a different purpose.

A quick break, please! Goodness Gracious…past 1 pm, and my 10-year-old neice is not hungry. Both her parents are working. Again, it’s Black Saturday. I also discovered the mail carrier came by, so the post office is open. Off to drop off the packages; post office is open until 3. A curse and a blessing–curse to work, blessing to get things done. The latter is what I’ll miss in the Philippines; the former is what makes me want to brave going back home.

Back to the scum of the earth (Mixxy enriched my vocabulary in her comment about Blog Scrapers). Just as that scammer who responded to my apartment ad (my first Craig’s List responder) gave me the idea to further talk about our apartment in this blog, I will do the same for that riff-off blog scraper. I’m not going to report him right away (not just yet), so he can scrape this blog a few more times until he/she/it realizes:

                * the world is learning his idiotic way of earning a living scraping blogs

                * others have the chance to find their sites at www.flyhotel.net  

                               (maybe more posts at (http://travel.propeller.com)

                                You will notice there that the comments are off,

                         and even in some,  it looks like you can leave

                                 a comment–click it but it won’t go through.

                 * he’s giving me topics to blog with all the joys of exposing him,

                                  or should I say ripping him apart

                 * his evil deeds are turning into positive acts — the other side

                                   of revengeeeeeeeee!

I’ll be following/stalking him too. I’m somewhat energized now–Happy Easter and to some I know you will be waking up to the Easter dawn soon.  I need my sleep before that. Blessings to all!

 —-(I didn’t forget the answer to your proofreading exercise.)—

“At first I was pleasantly surprised that somebody has my ad, but when I tried to dig further, my whole site was hacked I suppose. Then I googled ‘what is flyhotel.net and it took me to another web site: http://travel.propeller.com where I saw my blog articles under surwar11 and when I finally decided to print the page(s) I was only able to print the remaining what-makes-this-week-holy.  After I have checked the 27 pages, I tried to back track from page 6-1, but I couldn’t track it anymore. Must be the name propeller.
 
It’s past 3am and I’m still awake! This must be my penance for the Holy Week. Take care everyone — Me” ———————————————————–

UPDATE: 5/29/08

I used to check www.flyhotel.net every now and then as I was curious what would happen to it when I blog its blog scraping technique. Someone suggested that I should report it to google, but for some reason, I don’t think it was doing me any harm except that I was irritated to see my family picture on that website, and maybe because almost the complete blog was in his website. The comments were even turned off and no reference to the owner whatsoever…even submitting the blog to propeller.com as his own writing.

I’ve seen it having no more AdSense after a couple of weeks and I kept wondering why it continually runs the site. Today I couldn’t find it except for the previous google index that has warnings below the title– “This site may harm your computer.” I even went to my post here to get the link from within, and it gave me the same search result. Well, I guess it’s really gone after almost 3 months since my discovery. Maybe I will miss this routine of checking his site. I should probably be writing a separate blog for its demise.

What’s in a Name?

Juliet:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2) –Shakespeare

  

When you google the title, you’ll find enumerable entries. However, I was just trying to make sure I have the right quote so I didn’t go any further than the first entry–www.enotes.com

 

 The past dew days I was drawn to reading more of Bob Martin’s LIP instead of blogging here. It was interesting to see the different names the Philippines is known to some–with their own deduction of who or what generation  is using it. It never mattered to me if it is PI until it became synonymous to a Filipino #$%^&! Maybe they were right PI belonged to my generation when it was simply Philippine Islands. The have several variations as Phils, RP, and more. Personally, I prefer just the Philippines…and I am not touchy about it. I have different Phil sore spots.

 

I never intended this to be a topic in my blog, but yesterday while preparing for work (I usually tune-in to the news) the reporter was randomly interviewing a few people on the streets about the proposed name change for Orange County–The OC. [I live here so I thought I’ll throw this in.] It seems the county supervisors felt the need to give the 1889 name a facelift. A few weeks ago, it was the John Wayne Airport to become JWA of OC where one of John Wayne’s sons apparently objected. Was it a year ago or more? The Angels of Anaheim became the LA Angels of Anaheim, and I believe it got to be a pretty expensive squabble…but what do I care anyway? My simple name has been spelled in so many ways, and I even adopted a few of my own spelling variations.

 

The name change was even on the front page of the OC Register which I really didn’t read yet. This name must have been used a long time ago before the influx of all OC reality show(s). I guess the proposed changes would be: The OC Parks, The OC Public Library, The OC Dana Point Harbor. Is this getting in-step with the pop culture? It seems the reason given was some sort of saving money to the tune of $500,000.00 a year. Really? Cheaper to have new signs with just 2 letters…I suppose.

 

Don’t take me seriously…I’m just relying on what I heard on the news while I was still half-awake. I have no urge to read the newspaper any further. It’s just the “what’s in a name” surge of curiosity. Will the real Orange stand?

 

 

It’s Finally Good Friday in California!

I’m waking up to a Good Friday…why it’s Good when Jesus is dead, I have no idea. Black Saturday, I can understand with Him being in that cave until Easter Sunday. I’m not trying to be funny…but I remember the days as Holy from Monday through Thursday. I’m glad though that I don’t work on Fridays. I guess part of my sacrifice is blogging–and learning the neat stuff that others are doing. Knowing me, I doubt if I would get to the technical side before the day is over. That would be a Good Friday miracle.

I’m sure the Philippines is now resting after the religious ritual there on this day. Without even reading any news, I have mental pictures of the flagellants on the streets and most likely somebody nailed on the cross…I mean really nailed! Maybe I should check if there was another brave soul that still did this perplexing act. Hhmmm…maybe this is why it’s called Good Friday–with  most trying to be good! These are intriguing pictures to most foreigners, and it probably will be to me had I not been a Pinay myself.

I think I have to end my fasting for a while…my stomach really needs that thing they call breakfast. I have lost that ability to really fast!

What Makes This Week Holy?

The Catholics…I guess! Or, should I say unHOLY? If I had not come across Bob Martin’s posting in his newly-launched electronic magazine ‘Live in the Philippines’, I wouldn’t remember the Holy Week. Indeed, it’s BIG celebration in my country. It may have taken different shades of meaning through the years, but one thing constant–it’s a holiweek (no business for a week) as opposed to a holiday.

Normally, I would feel a certain ounce of holinesss only when Good Friday comes. Maybe, here in the US, life goes on as usual. We have to go to work–no big deal–nobody mentions it. What makes Good Friday different then? Yes, I try to be extra careful since this is the day that I have to be on my own…God is dead!

Fifty years is a long way back to that Holy Week of a 7-year old kid in the remote farm of Cadiz, Negros Occidental. Good Friday was the start of a day that we couldn’t leave the house to play. Many had probably experienced, one way or the other, some of the things that constitute this day to us though my younger siblings may had been too young to remember.

             * No play–just listen to the radio for the ‘Siete Palabra’, The Seven Last Words’ of Jesus as he was crucified on the cross. Mind you, I could remember myself crying silently (as I clung to those words I can’t even recall now), not because I couldn’t play but I wasn’t sure though if I felt bad simply with His dying on the cross…or the dying for the sins of the world or just my sins (my mom said I was a good kid).

            * No taking a bath–you will develop black spots on your body.

            * No ‘sinugba’–maybe it is this grilling that can give you the black spots. I guess I may have to ask my mom again.

My mother is the one that has all the religious/superstitious beliefs, and I was glad that my father was there to balance everything with his humorous and witty dispositions. Still, I had carried all through those long years the respect for Good Friday and Black Saturday until God is risen again on Easter Sunday. Numerous things may have changed in the way I approach Holy Week, one thing I can never bring myself to do is celebrate or go on holiday travel on these days for the sake of enjoyment. There is that certain tug in my heart that prevents me from making plans…you can call it guilt, perhaps conscience. When any member of the family plans on whatever holiday outings or travels within my hearing distance, I could only pray that they would change their minds. I want to hold on to the sacredness of these days!

What Will PhP5000 Buy You in the Philippines?

When you basically ask yourself some journalistic questions as a starting point, you’ll find the answers in varied ways that will boil down to your own flexibility and tolerance. The Philippines may have as many as 7,107 islands (…and, did somebody say 7,108 islands during low tide?), but only approximately 1000 are inhabited. If my joker friend should be believed, there’s one island that you’ll find only snakes and another only turtles. He lives in Naval (Visayan Islands) where there are numerous tiny islands. That’s a place you could buy your own island. Without a doubt my friend exaggerates; how much grain-of-salt you have to splash into his stories is your call.

Where are you planning to stay? If you start from my apartment, a day in the life of a king could be possible. Though I can’t promise a queen unless you are one; that would be a queen without a king, just the maids at your service. We’re not close to the beach, but we can take you to Subic in Olongapo where what used to be the U.S. military base is now a tourist area. Or if you want a day by the pool side, we can go as far as Laguna or Tagaytay…maybe simply sightseeing within a 3-hour drive radius. Another option is Boracay Beach as your kingdom for a day. If you are a frugal backpacker, who can eat what the locals eat (or survive on noodles and the kind) and sleep where the locals sleep, then you could last a month finding beauty and peace in places where raw nature abounds. Do you really need that running water in that thing they call faucet? What do you mean hot? Just don’t ask anymore questions! There’s always that middle ground somewhere only you can ascertain.

In March 2005, an unbelievable reunion came to fruition.

9S reunion

All 9 siblings (start from right counterclockwise full circle to the youngest) were there alive and kicking…only our father was not physically present but I knew then he was looking down on us chuckling, like I could hear it with him sitting next to me. What can I say…I was his first baby!

subic-tyoy

My uncle, Mother’s only brother, stays with our family. One of my favorite pictures is a wonderful contrast to the picture of my nephew below.

subic-ral

With Ral growing up in the same house, he brings joy to Tiyoy’s (Uncle).

***************************************************************

Let’s move on to the next questions. When are you going to travel? How long are you staying, and how are you moving from place to place? Who will be traveling with you? What are you planning to do during your stay in the area of choice? Hopefully we’ll be able to address these questions at some point in time; otherwise, you’re on your way to launch your own adventure. Good luck and I hope you’ll find your own place of pleasure anywhere in the Philippines.

Life Can Be Simple

Life is what you intend it to be–simple or simply complicated–the choice is yours to make, the power only you have. Do I really believe this? Maybe. I just have to look at some of my favorite pictures, mostly during the contruction phase of Fairview. I’m so grateful to these hardworking simple folks that had touched our lives as we begin our journey back to the Philippines.

break time

One time I went up to the 3rd floor, I found these bunch of rubber slippers and I knew the workers were getting ready for their coffee break. I just had to ran back downtairs to get my camera. The image was so compelling…an artistic representation of hard-working folks finding a temporary peacefulness in one room they can call their own, just for now.

tea time

 As I look inside, my heart skipped a bit–a perfect still-life picture–waiting for everyone to be ready for coffee break.

 grp tea time

This is one of the 3rd floor units that the workers were using as their temporary home away from home if they decide to stay overnight. A few would stay for a week to save transportation money.

Life in a Crowded City

Why would someone choose to live in a crowded city? Family. A very simple and indesputable answer. Last December I came across Goyo’s blog about his [ http://travelswithgoyo.wordpress.com ] and I enviously followed him on his travel from Dumaguete, Negros Oriental to Cebu where ‘he and Mrs. Goyo plans to retire with her family in the near future’. His blog is full of enticing pictures poignantly chronicled from the eyes of a foreigner with the local’s heart.

And here I am retiring [soon?] in the midst of noise and pollution. But, first–I am a daughter, a sister, and many more to the people around me. Luckily my husband loves them too. So it is where we should start for now…our humble beginning could not compete with hotels. Our 4 walls can only block the noise so much that, if you’re a light sleeper, the sound of the 24-hour tricycle will be your nightmare; and before you can lull yourself to sleep, the penetrating sound of the peddler’s voice will surely awaken you to greet the morning sun. Then it’s time to start a new day!

alley st.frnt clbhse1frnt clbhse3fnt clbhse2

            hi dogsclbhse gtclbhse gt2

This is the Filipino life in motion! It’s not for the faint-hearted or the half-hearted (?)…and, if you have visited Goyo’s blog and read Rain Girl, we have more-of-a-kind here in Metro Manila…even Window Boy!

The Unfurnished Side of Fairview Apartment

Imagine starting life at Fairview without the furnishings…still entering the same gate at the alley side, going up the same staircase, only this time you’ll be making another flight of stairs. Yup! It’s the 3rd floor hallway where the other 3 Units are located: (Same layout as the furnished ones, just different colors.)

 3rd flr hallwaybedroombuilt-in closetGrn U fan

      bg2 U kitchenbge UKblue UK

I might as well include one Unit intended for dorm rooms, or maybe…just maybe, one of these days I should consider opening this area to backpackers. There are 3 similar-size small rooms that can be shared by 4 or just 1 in a room but the kitchen and bathroom will be shared by all dormers.

dorm rooms/hallwaydrm desk4-bed dormdorm-2beds.jpg

dorm kitchendorm bathroom

tHE pASSWORD cURSE cONTINUES

That doesn’t look right? The Caps Lock again–the culprit. Earlier I was screaming in desperation why my email password is not letting me in. It couldn’t be. It’s my primary account; I use it everyday–almost! I can’t believe my unlucky star today. This morning at work I was locked out of my account after typing 3 password combinations unsuccessfully. Why do they have to make us change our password every now and then? As if it was not bad enough to have one in every place. I know I should have written it somewhere right away. Sure…grey matter fades and it’s getting lighter and lighter from day-to-day. That I should remember!

Then I heard my husband yelled back from the other room, “Is your Caps Lock on?” Nevermind! Some ghost must have accidentally hit it…not me! I guess it’s not just the password stuff that makes life sucks. Worse are the people who believe that to con others is an art. Just because it worked at some point with others, doesn’t mean that it will continue to work. Besides, it’s bad for your conscience. That’s true…if you have one.

Actually, discovering that I worked my tail off this weekend for a scammer didn’t get to me at all. Thanks…at least I started some groundwork though I must admit that teeny weeny bit of sigh–it wasn’t real after all. It was a short-lived surge of hope that there really was an interested prospective tenant. A tenant that is ready to pay the full 6-month rent! Omigosh…but wait…did he say ‘send back part of the money through Western Union’? Coincidence? Benefit of the doubt? What else? Enough…I got it! Somebody pulled this similar trick on my husband with the ‘I have a client who wants a drum you’re selling but send me back the rest of the money through Western Union’ thing. At that time the TV stations did not catch on it yet, but it didn’t sound right. Always good to ere on the side of caution…when unsure, simply visit your friendly police precinct. While I’m at this, let’s give my husband a drum roll–visit his drum collections at www.xzyllardrums.com and you might just enjoy it, too.

Well, anyway I have the 4 parts of that email ready, so I’ll continue with the 2nd installment of our apartment pictures. It’s the inside part of the funished (air-con) model. All 6 one-bedroom units have the same layout, just different colors.

   alley side gatestairs2nd flr hallwayUnit door

           insidehallway.jpgbilt-in closetfurnished bed roomorange living room 

orange kitchen-DRorange U bathroomcooking arealaundry area