Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Phone Home

Phone Call


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

For most of us, the holiday season is the time when family members get together and celebrate the occasion with a feast. But for more than a million Filipino Overseas Contract Workers (OFW), this year will be another season away from their love ones. They would have to contend themselves with a phone call or webcast just to get in touch. Thanks to modern technology.

Speaking of phones, did you know that there are now land line phone units that is equipped with spy-bugs? They are called Phone-007. They can record phone conversations in progress and even ambient noises with in the phones range.

I was also surprised when I learned about such phones. They can be hooked to an internet connection and you can listen to conversations by dialing a local Phone-007 access code. That would be eavesdropping in the truest sense of the word. In addition, you can even log-in to my.PurpleGoods.com to access all previous recordings made.

As I always say about technology, they are here to improve our way of life. Its a choice how we use such technology. Our individual intentions and motives will dictate how we dispense of them...good or bad.

Well, its the start of another year. We can always change for the better. And for our OFW's, yes they are lonely, but who knows, they just might have sent home a Phone-007 just to stay connected. (",)

HERE'S TO A BETTER 2009 FOR ALL OF US!!!

Delivering on Commitments

Moving


After opening a new plant in the northern part of Mindanao (Southern part of the Philippines), the immediate concern that our operation experienced was the issue on logistics. Freight cost are high inspite of the continuous roll-back of fuel prices. Apparently the distance and the terrain play a major obstacle.

Cagayan de Oro City is around 300KM (186 Miles) away for Davao City and some 450KM (280 Miles) for General Santos City (Manny Pacquio's home town) travelling south. It would take a 10-wheeler truck 2-3 days to complete a round trip. Considering the wear and tear of the truck including tires, fuel consumption, and driver's fee, Most of the truckers are charging a considerable sum of money.

Nonetheless, since our commitment to our customers is to deliver their requirement on time, we have to carry the freight burden. In any kind of business, delivering to what has been committed is foundational to building trust and the first step for a repeat sale. Nothing can prosper if such commitments are violated.

Almost for the whole month of December, my team and I hurdled the hick-ups of a start up operation. There were a lot of sleepless nights and internal challenges. But in the end, by putting the customers first, everything went fairly well.

All thanks to the relentless efforts of an engaged team.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dew drops

dewdrops



I was trying to relate the the morning dew to a symbolic gesture of a fresh start. What ever happened in the yester of day is showered off and refreshed with each droplet of dew in the morning.

Then I stumbled upon this very nice poem:

On a Drop of Dew

by Andrew Marvell


See how the Orient Dew,
Shed from the Bosom of the Morn
Into the blowing Roses,
Yet careless of its Mansion new;
For the clear Region where 'twas born
Round in its self incloses:
And in its little Globes Extent,
Frames as it can its native Element.
How it the purple flow'r does slight,
Scarce touching where it lyes,
But gazing back upon the Skies,
Shines with a mournful Light;
Like its own Tear,
Because so long divided from the Sphear.
Restless it roules and unsecure,
Trembling lest it grow impure:
Till the warm Sun pitty it's Pain,
And to the Skies exhale it back again.
So the Soul, that Drop, that Ray
Of the clear Fountain of Eternal Day,
Could it within the humane flow'r be seen,
Remembring still its former height,
Shuns the sweat leaves and blossoms green;
And, recollecting its own Light,
Does, in its pure and circling thoughts, express
The greater Heaven in an Heaven less.
In how coy a Figure wound,
Every way it turns away:
So the World excluding round,
Yet receiving in the Day.
Dark beneath, but bright above:
Here disdaining, there in Love.
How loose and easie hence to go:
How girt and ready to ascend.
Moving but on a point below,
It all about does upwards bend.
Such did the Manna's sacred Dew destil;
White, and intire, though congeal'd and chill.
Congeal'd on Earth: but does, dissolving, run
Into the Glories of th' Almighty Sun

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Building Foundation

Warehousing


What makes a building withstand the toughest storm?

It must be built on a solid foundation. The structural strength of every material used should pass an international quality standard for safety, durability and tensil strength. Most prefabricated buildings are set to meet these standards. They have gone through extensive R&D and applied technology.

A person's character can be likened to commercial steel buildings. If the foundation and quality of building materials used are strong, the person's character will also be rock solid. Foundation such as integrity, honesty, respect, these are the values that will provide the tenacity of one's personhood.

If the steel buildings are haphazardly made, where the engineers cut corners and favor economics over quality, it might last a year or two. But give it some continuous strain and in time it will crumble. Just as superficial traits that a person of weak character shows. He might fake it for a while, but when faced with life's challenges, his true nature will come out.

But unlike a building, a person can choose to strengthen and make himself better. The building will rely only to the moldings of his creator. Unlike a building, the person can change. He always has a choice...he only needs to make it.

Thematic Photographic 26: "Sweet" v 1.0 - Earth's Natural Sweetness

Sweet Nectar


This is my first entry to Carmi's Thematic Photographic series. For this week, the theme is SWEET. But instead of posting something sugar coated food that we normally eat, I thought it would be better to go on the more natural side of sweetness.

Nectar is the natural food of bees and hummingbirds. The bees use them to make honey. Honey that we harness and use for our pancakes and pastries.

Maybe we too should indulge in some natural sweeteners, especially during these holidays, so we can share some authentic sweetness for each other...that is coming from the heart.

If you want to see more entries about Thematic Photographic, visit Carmi's website at Written, Inc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Financing College Education

Student view


Just yesterday, my colleague told me that he was trying to sell his pick-up truck for 8 grand(USD). I joked with a chuckle, asking why the rush, was it tuition time again? Surprisingly he nodded in confirmation. The university where his daughter was taking college has trimestral period.

I remember when we were back in college. Some of my classmates, coming from the provinces, have to avail of student loans just to enroll or at times just to make both ends of their allowance meet.

Sometimes its difficult being a student, although majority of us were lucky to be well provided for. There are some who have to find work or, as I've mentioned, furnish a student loan to finance their education.

Although, looking at their predicament in another light, there is an advantage for them experiencing that. They learn early on how to value money and prioritize their spending. Especially nowadays where that the cost of college education is too high even in state universities. Taking up a student loan can be an early training for the future executives and entrepreneurs on how to handle money.

As we used to call it in college, its education beyond the four corners of the classroom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are you being tracked?

Tunnel


Twice in a row, I heard about GPS tracking today. First with the movie "Wild Hogs" when they threw away their GPS equipped phones for an adventure filled bike ride across America. Then, the second in the movie "DaVinci Code", where Professor Langdon was bugged by a GPS tracking dot by the French Agents to track his movement.

GPS tracking or better known as Global Positioning System is becoming a common technology nowadays. It used to be available only for military use but now civilians too can take advantage of its usefulness. If you have a GPS receiver, triangulating your position anywhere in the world, using around 24-32 mid altitude satellites around the globe, can be available within seconds. The only places where it can have a harder time locating you would be if you are driving through a tunnel, or even when you are driving in between high rise buildings. The signals gets choppy.

With the GPS tracking being available in the market (its a common feature now of the 3G mobile phones), depending on how you use it, it can be good or it can be bad. Good for finding location, or tracking down your cargo. But if you use it to spy on your spouse or employee...somehow it can breed distrust.

Technology should be used to make our lives better...always depending on how we make use of technology.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You've Got Mail

Mail Box


The last time I was in South Korea, I snapped a picture of this post box. In the Philippines, this is not a common site. Whenever, we have to send a letter or parcel for shipment, it would be sent through the post office. But since the birth of email, I can't remember the last time I visited a post office.

Back at work, for communicating with our customers, we make use of newsletters and send them by direct mail. Still, the way we have sent them was through a contracted courier which handles the shipment faster than snail mail. For a time we saw that process effective. Until the current economic conditions shocked a lot of businesses. Suddenly, all efforts were geared towards reducing cost while trying to maintain the effectiveness of each operation.

After a lot of brain storming, the idea of using direct email marketing came in. Instructions were distributed through out our team to get the email addresses of each client and prospects. We took advantage of trade shows and product presentations to generate the basic data base we needed for the direct mail.

If you are looking for a web site that does such function and can even be used as a survey tool for clients and increase your marketing information. There is the iContact Email Marketing. An easy to use email marketing, surveying, autoresponder, and blogging tool that allows small businesses, non-profits, and associations to easily communicate online with their customers, prospects, and members.

You can try a 15 day free trial of iContact at www.icontact.com.

As they say, information is power. How fast you get that information through and back from the target clients will make all the difference.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Parked for Duty

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Just like the pair of shoes that was left in front of the door step, that is how I see how my blog has been for the last twelve (12) days. Parked and left alone.

I could easily justify that my schedules did not permit me to upload. Besides, WI-FI connection has also been a challenge the last few days in the field. But sometimes, when the moment of choice comes, you need to do what is more important. No excuses. Just priorities.

Like what Stephen Covey used to say "First things first"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ambiance added

Ambiance


From the coffee shop at the mall, I saw this amber looking lighting fixture hanging on the wall. It radiates a warm light highlighted by the broken glass effect on the lighting glass. You could say that it really helped in providing the ambiance.

Most of us love to lounge at coffee shops to surf and sip our favorite coffee blend. But generally (this is only my opinion), what attracts us and make us stay at those coffee shops is because of the ambiance. How cozy and relaxing it feels while sipping a hot cup of coffee...and this aura is partly generated by the impact of the lighting. Some even have special fine art lamps that warms up the entire atmosphere.

Just like in this shop, with this hinkley light fixtures type of lamp. I guess it makes the higher cost of coffee from this shops more affordable.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Looking for... a Bike?

The Bike


One time I was caught in traffic while riding a taxi cab in Cebu City when I chance upon the one-eyed graffiti on a school yard wall. Hurriedly I took my camera to snap a picture and as I pressed the shutter, this biker just sped out of nowhere. What luck! the bike's blur added to the total effect.

Speaking of bikes, did you know that the most efficient machine on earth in terms of weight transported over distance for energy expended is a human on a bicycle (www.bikewebsite.com.). It can even be considered as one of the solutions for our energy crisis situation. Imagine, no petrol fuel required, you can get to where you want without being bothered by traffic, you'll get a very good exercise, and to top it all up, its environment friendly.

Of course, it can not replace the cars and mass transport for long distance travels, but for city or town mobility, the bike is a great alternative.

I remember my first bike. It was an easy rider with foot brakes. It even has a ringer bell attached to the handles. Then during high school, I saved my allowance in order to assemble my own BMX. Given a chance if ever I'll have another bike today, I guess it will be a mountain bike. Although I'd prefer to assemble it by myself again, but for practical reasons, a lot of good choices are readily available off the racks even on-line.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Honing the Potential

Potential


One early Sunday morning,after hearing about the cat that was stalking a chicken at our neighbor's roof, my son grabbed our Canon S3IS to take zoomed-in picture. Unfortunately, the chicken flew away and left him only a grooming cat to shoot on.Gelo's Cat

He is only 9 years old and it seems he has already caught on our passion for photography. As many used to say: "Start them early.."

Its amazing how our younger generations of today are assimilating technology and applying them almost instantly. Sometimes, they don't even have to read the manual to operate new electronic toys and gadgets.

Having that is already a plus for these kids. Now they just need to be nurtured and guided to bring out their fullest potential.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

From Seoul to Busan: A Korean Adventure



It took me a while to get back into blogging. How are you? Or should I say "Sugoha shipmida!...That's the written form of HELLO in Korean!

Yup, I've been to South Korea for a week long exposure two weeks ago. It took me some time to sort out over than 800 pictures that I snapped. I stayed two days in Seoul(Flying in thru Inchon) then I flew south to Busan where I spent the remainder of the week traveling the Gyeongsang province in Hapcheon County, Hamyang County, Jinju City and the subdivision of Haeundae east of Busan.

The Korean people are very kind and warm. You could always expect to receive a cup of coffee or hot tea upon your visit to their homes. I first thought of them as very formal people, based from the Korean drama series shown in our local TV networks. It was a big AHA! for me. They were formal, yes, only in the sense of showing respect for others and especially to their seniors.

I was blessed with a very good guide and "Sabo" (Teacher) during my stay in Busan. He took care care of everything I needed. His name is Kwak Jun Ho, or you can also call him Shine. He lives in Kimhae city, around 25KM north of Busan, with his wife Kim Yeon Suk and their 2 year old daughter Kwak, Kyu Lim.

Shine even taught me how to speak a little Korean, like how to say thank you after being offered coffee: "Coffee jo syu suh Khamsahamnida."

Learning about Korea, its people and their culture is very interesting. Their history goes a long way back. Its really quite an experience.

Khamsahamnida!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Old Favorite Revisited

Living Room Furnitures

After staying at home for almost a week on a paternity leave, I had a chance to play an old time favorite PC game The SIMS2 Deluxe. This one is an expanded version of the original The SIMS2 plus Nightlife expansion pack. Actually, since we have purchased the PC game, I have already expanded it with Open for Business and The SIMS 2 Pets. We were supposed to upgrade further with Sims2 University but when I got hooked up into blogging, I found a more rewarding stress reliever.

Yes, before I started blogging, playing The Sims has been some what of a therapy for me. I enjoyed designing and building the houses, arranging the Living Room Furniture, landscaping the yard and creating Sims characters.

With the expansion packs, especially the Sims2 Pets, not only did the game play expanded but also the choices of chic items in the buy and build mode. Take for example the snapshot above, it use to have formal chairs and living room set from the original version. It used to be the only logical choice to put since they were the only items that give maximum comfort levels for the sims. But with new expansion packs, when you go into the buy mode, its as if you go into a Living room Furniture Store, just select from the chic and stylish items. The only thing missing would be the Ottomans if you really want to complete the picture. This are all possible of course if you have the simoleons to buy them with.

It was fun playing the SIMS again. But not as fun as playing with my sons.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Managing Both Ends

Diapers Pictures, Images and Photos

Still consuming my paternity leave, I get to help my wife in taking care of our new baby. You can call it a true division of labor. . . While she handles all the breast feeding from one end, I take charge of the other end. And as many times he suckles in a day is almost the same number of times he discharges.

My wife even got worried at first since it seems so frequent. But come to think of it, its only physiologically normal, like passing a series of cotton balls in a 1 meter (3.39 ft.) tube pipe. At first you continue to put in the cotton balls until the pipe fills. Then as you continue, the first ball you put it comes out of the other end and will continue to come out as long you put a cotton ball in the first end.

We have already consumed more than three (3) dozen diapers for my baby's first week. You can just imagine the number of poop jokes I started to collect. Even comparing how messy it can become if left standing for some time. Colostomy bags would be a lot cleaner. Lol!

Speaking of colostomy bags, have you seen how it works? I have a colleague that was installed with one after being diagnosed with colon cancer. The affected part of his large intestine was removed and the cut portion was redirected to a stoma(opening) made at the side of his abdomen. His poop now discharges and collected to the colostomy bag. The bag is replaceable after every discharge.

Managing poop using diapers works pretty much the same. Both are disposable and use topical ointment for skin care. But for sure working with diapers would be a lot bearable to the nose.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Motivation to a Great Health

Luis


Strider is a father again. My first born now has a brother. A healthy 5.0 lbs, 10 oz baby who my wife's Ob-Gyne called "Bilis"(Fast). Because he was out before the doctor has finished scrubbing.

As I shoot this picture, I pondered..."I am a proud father at 39". Of course, who wouldn't be. Not only because of my youngest is again a boy, but it proves that my first one was not just because of chance and I still don't require the use of Cialis. lol!

But seriously, at 39 my attention dawned on my health. I had been a smoker for 20 years or more, and if I would want to see my sons become fathers themselves, I must really consider quitting smoking.

Studies from the National Population Health Survey have shown that for every 100 smokers age 45 years old, 90 will survive until the age of 65. But only 30 will survive beyond 80.

If I quit now, I still might have a chance to save time. As the saying goes "Health is Wealth". If I invest a little everyday on my health, someday we can reap the rewards of time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Little Secret

Top 10 On-Line Poker Sites


Its all good news that my son was born normally last September 4, 2008 and my wife is now recovering very well. We've been discharged from the hospital with a sigh of relief. But are you in for a little secret?

My wife doesn't know this yet, but before she was due I was dead serious about searching for ways to raise roughly $4000 just in case she undergoes the caesarean section procedure. One of the options I considered was playing On-Line Poker.

I figured, it was already too late for me to save $700/month. Taking up on a loan at 10.56% p.a. will be painful every month, blogging can not raise the enough budget in time...so taking on the risk of poker could be worth a shot. Besides, the starting bet can be as low a $5. With On-Line Poker, earning $1000.00 in a day of play looks very attractive and assured as long as the poker site is secure. There are many reputable sites where you can play poker on-line (as shown on the list above), and all of them give bonuses when you start playing.

What are these bonuses? These are additional money that you can play and grow that poker companies provide to help you increase your betting capacity. One example is on the use of PokerStars Marketing Code. After setting your account and choosing your game, you can use these bonus markers and you'll usually get 100-150% bonus for your initial play.

I tried looking at the PokerStars.com and watched the video how to start. They have a step by step set-up. You can choose your type of play, of course the most popular is the Hold 'em. With PokerStar.com you can use the
PokerStars Bonus Code
to get your additional funding.

Playing on line was really tempting, especially with the Full Tilt Poker. This game makes full potential of your $5 bill. There is no limit with the number of players and all the $5 from each player goes into the pot. You can also use the
Full Tilt Referral Code
maximize your winning potential.

I was preparing to play and crossing my finger to raise my needed fund, luckily, as if with a twist of fate, our medical insurance turned out to have a coverage for maternity benefits. The last time I know was that they don't. The good thing there was that my wife and son survived the ordeal without any complications and we were discharged without any cash out.

I wonder...could I have raised the $4000 if I had played?


_________________________________
* List courtesy of PokerListings.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My LAN's Bane

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O' LAN my LAN, what have we done?
The serenity of our system, was all suddenly gone.
To what routers did you link that made our world crumble,
I should've remembered to upgrade my firewall.


We could have selected from the dozen of servers,
Why have we insisted to stick with the old gizzers?
Security products, so long have they existed,
Now my data is gone & I never can be acquitted.


From Cisco to HP, they made telecommunications happy,
The world has shrunk dearly and the network has grown immensely.
Yet as fast as the web grows, so does many hackers grossly upload,
Spamming worms and virus like wolves in sheep's clothes.


So now my LAN, swallow the bitter pill we must,
Remember to link only with networks that we can trust.
For even new & refurbished switches will be portals of dismay,
If servers and networks have no firewalls on display.



Strider - circa 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Clouds

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This entry is for the Tuesday and Wednesday Editions of:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Web Connectivity

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While reviewing my set of pictures from the Minneapolis trip I chanced upon this picture again. I have used this photo before in my MBA widget as symbolic way of showing the connectivity through the internet. Just like my feedjit at the side bar. I can see where from the world do my visitors come from.

The internet has truly flattened the world. The only thing limiting us from connecting real time is the particular time zones we are in. Well, we could actually drop at each others sites and exchange comments in a matter of minutes. But if we are located on the opposite side of the globe, either one of us would definitely be having a big set of eye bags in the morning. lol!

MBA widgetMy other blog, MBA On-Line was intended to be a learning platform about the blogosphere and about leadership development. Although it has taken me almost a month already in preparing the blog's outline. It is intended to be a step by step blog development from the basic frameworks to hopefully become even a web hosting tutorial site in the future. For almost the whole of August, I had been doing research and collecting tutorial materials and web hosting articles for the blog. I even bought a book about multimedia for the web which I intend to use as resource material.

Preparation phase is done. Now comes the implementation. I just wish that the blog earns its ratings and reviews well by contributing to the betterment of our being. As we connect with each other around the world, it increases our awareness and understanding how we all can make a difference and help change this world for the better.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Percussion

Percussion

This entry is for the Tuesday and Wednesday Editions of:

Summer in September

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September is just around the corner. At this time of the year the weather is just great in the mid-west, nearing the end of summer. In Minneapolis, our company holds the President's forum annually around this months, where the representatives from 27 countries across the globe are invited to fly over to be recognized for their achievements and contribution to their respective business units.

Last September 2006, I was fortunate to be one of the Philippine delegation to attend the forum. We had the chance to meet not only the senior leadership team but also our counterparts from other locations. A fruitful venue to exchange ideas and learn from their experiences. That year, it was Vietnam who got the Business of the Year Award.

It was a full 3 day event that was very well organized and executed. There were spectacular presentations and trade show exhibits. All the different brand segments have their own booths, custom made for the occasion. The booths were lined inside the perimeter of the wide trade hall. Brochures, books and souvenir items were a plentiful table top display. There were even games and raffle draws. Really incredible!

Trade ShowThe trade hall was also delightfully colorful,dressed with the different flags of the represented countries. Then at the center were coffee shop tables complete with table covers where colleagues lounge after touring the show.


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They say your stay in Minneapolis wouldn't be complete if you haven't tasted the Famous Dave's baby-back ribs. So after the convention, our team decided to share a couple of beers while savoring the sumptuous meal...and mind you, their servings were really big.


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Then before we all flew back home, we dropped by the highly acclaimed Mall of America to check-out the items on sale. Funny, but we ended up buying items at Victoria's Secret.



That September in 2006 was a very memorable & humbling experience indeed. Knowing that you are only part of a very big whole. A speck in the universe of diversity yet your contribution is celebrated by everybody.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Of Anxiety, Expectation & Faith

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With my wife expecting the arrival of our new son in the next few weeks, I can not help but to pray that they both surpass the ordeal safely. Hoping that our second child will also be born normal.

As the full term is nearing, both excitement and anxiety fills every gap of our conscious mind. It is somewhat stressful. Last night, I succumbed to tonsillitis. A combined effect of stress and erratic weather. It came quite a surprise though, since I haven't been bothered by tonsillitis for sometime now. It just bothered me since I had a history of rheumatic fever in my childhood due to frequent battles with tonsillitis, and this has led me to wonder on the possibilities whether my expected son could inherit such predisposition.

So I did some web searching. One of the most striking relationships I found that could have a congenital effect on newborn was about mitral valve defects.

The mitral valve , a.k.a. bicuspid valve, is a dual flap tissue inside the heart. It lies between the left atrium and the left ventricle which functions as a regulatory measure preventing the back-flow of blood from the ventricle to the atrium. In the normal cardiac cycle, once the oxygen filled blood from the lungs enters the atrium, the mitral valve relaxes allowing it to pass through the left ventricle for distribution to the other parts of the body via the aorta. At the same time that the ventricles contract, the valve shuts close preventing any back flow. However, if the mitral valve is defective, a portion of the oxygenated blood enters back to the atrium, reducing the amount of blood that will be distributed to the entire body. It produces a murmur sound that can be heard by auscultation.

Several factors can cause such malfunction and one reason can be associated to rheumatic heart disease. If left unchecked, the condition can be fatal. Good thing, modern medicine has come up with ways to do mitral valve repair. Several institutions have specialized in treating the condition with high percentage of safety and success. They can either do mitral valve surgery or altogether do mitral valve replacement.

Knowing this, it comes as source of relief. Plus of course, staying in faith that my expected son would be free any congenital anomaly. At least, if ever he would be contracting tonsillitis later on, it would be easier to prevent and treat.

________________________
* Illustration courtesy of http://www.mhhe.com

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making a Better Place for the Next Generation

Dew Drops

We have a new member of the family expected to arrive in the next two weeks. So far, preparations are underway. We have upgraded the bedroom. Now the next challenge will be the nursery and the living room.

We were thinking of letting go of old items and look for Modern Furniture which could be more ergonomic. But the idea of holding a garage sale to dispose the old ones is not very appealing. I guess, we have to do a lot of rearranging and furniture donations to make for room.

As I said, ergonomics is the name of the game. A simple Modern Furniture that could be stylish yet space saving fits very well in a small living room. A few chairs would have to go to give room for the collapsable crib.

For the nursery, ideally it should be another room by itself. But having only two bedrooms in the house, it would have to fit in also with the Master's Bed room. A combination of Old and Modern Furniture will have to work together to give the suitable ambiance.

It is really great how our creativity can work when we are expecting a new life coming on our way. Besides, I believe that it lies on our responsibility to create a better world for the future of our next generation.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kick Ass Blogger

Have received this award from Maiylah and Liza.


Kick Ass Blogger Award

Do you know any bloggers that kick ass?

Maybe they’ve got incredible, original content. Or they’re overflowing with creativity. Is it someone that helps you become a better blogger? Or a bloggy friend you know you can count on? Or maybe it’s someone who simply inspires you to be a better person… or someone else who sends you to the floor, laughing your ass off.

Whatever the reason may be, I’m sure you know at least a couple of bloggers that kick ass. Well… why not tell ‘em so?

LOVE ON ‘EM

  • Choose 5 bloggers that you feel are “Kick Ass Bloggers”
  • Let ‘em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they’ve received an award
  • Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to http://www.mammadawg.com/
  • Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on
And now I'm passing this great award to:
1. Wisdom Hypnosis
2. Steve v4.7
3. Robin's Woods
4. How is Bradley?
5. My Wanderings

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Taking Care of Finances

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Of late, I had been receiving SMS phone messages from several banks offering salary loans from PhP30,000 (US$667) - PhP1,000,000(US$22,222) at 1.39% interest per month. Then when you ask them how they got my number, they say it was randomly selected.

Are these banks that desperate now to get credit? What happened to the good old customer assessment and credit evaluation, where they use to offer Credit Repair and restructuring?

Well, maybe these banks are just more aggressive in providing personal loans compared to home or auto-loans. For sure, with the bigger amount of money at stake with the home or auto loans, they will definitely be more selective. With personal loans, they would only ask for your last months payslip to get approval. Where with home loans your historical credit records will be scrutinized. That is, if you have a bad record in the past and haven't had a Bad Credit Repair, you would definitely have a harder time getting a loan.

I have some friends who have actually gone though enormous lengths just to get their home loan restructured and Repair Credit status. It made life easier for them. After the that they were able to sleep better with the re-structured loan. Some even thought to apply for another loan once again. Thanks to the Credit Repair Services offered by companies on-line.

For me, I take caution before getting into such credits. That personal loan offer looks attractive. But until I see a definite use for such a credit, one that would be productive enough to repay for that loan, I find it non-beneficial to my net worth.

Friday, August 15, 2008

To Swipe or Not to Swipe

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Last night, I was trying to book an emergency airport to airport cargo transport for a client. It was many times more expensive than our usual shipment by sea and the hard part was that we have to pay on the spot. Then, for the nth time that it happened to me, my cash came short to cover the bill. Fortunately, I have my handy credit cards that helped me settle all the dues (...as if they were saying Mighty Mouse' famous line.."Here I come to save the day!").

Its good to have credit cards as long as you know how to use them and have the will power to resist the temptation of whimsical buying. I learned that lesson the hard way long ago. Imagine, even when I had a low interest credit card back then, just because I chose to leave a balance every month and pay only the minimum, it practically ate up my monthly salary. There were even times that I missed the payment due dates because of lack of funds only to receive a hostile reminder from my creditor. If not from family support, I wouldn't have been able to pull myself out of that debt. We were so thankful for them.

That was why, my wife & I lived on cash for a time. It was only after I landed on another job and a few years of healing did we consider applying again for credit cards. Although we use the pre-paid debit cards instead to make cashless transactions especially for groceries.

Then at work, when I was given a new regional assignment some four months ago, I requested to avail of our corporate business credit cards. It was a practical alternative to our usual revolving fund. Since most of the time I am away from office for weeks, I no longer worry about delayed reimbursements and revolving funds running dry. Like what happened last night. If I didn't have my credit card with me, I couldn't have shipped my stocks and most probably would have to deal with an irate client today.

There are a lot of credit card providers to choose from in the market. You can actually compare their benefits. But the thing to remember when using credit cards, is to use them only when necessary, take advantage of their cut-off periods to maximize the credit term and as much as possible, NEVER LEAVE AN OUTSTANDING BALANCE UNPAID.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Christmas Gift

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Last last Christmas, I gave an Apple iPod Nano 4GB as a present for my wife. She was surprised. She never thought I would actually buy her one since it was our niece who was really giving out hints of wanting one. Fortunately, I chanced upon one store in Bacolod City that sells iPods at a discount, around $20 less from the malls in Metro Manila.

My wife was very grateful of course. But more than happy was my 9 year old son who filled up the iPod with Naruto songs. The fact that the iPod Nano that I bought was fuscha in color doesn't seem to bother him at all. You'll know if he is listening to his favorite songs when he starts nodding his head and stomping his feet as he hums along with the music.

That started us into considering of buying him his own iPod Nano. We eventually searched the online stores to see whats the latest in the market and study the reviews. So far its the iPod Nano 8GB that stands out, next to the iPhone. It has 8GB of flash memory that can store up to 2000 4 minute songs which is equivalent to 8 hours of video. It also has a 2-inch LCD screen with 320x240 pixel that gives better viewing experience. Plus, it can store versatile file format of data, MP3 and video. A very chic & versatile feature for such a small device.

Probably its that versatility that makes the iPod click especially with the current genre. An all-in-one gadget that is very efficient and easy to use. It's appeal actually spans across different age groups. That is why my wife would love to get her iPod back.

Well, kudos for the iPod Nano's developers. We could be buying one again for this coming Christmas.

Wordless Wednesday: Sleeping on the Job

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