Thursday 30 March 2006
I have been driving (on an L-plate) for almost a year now. I feel I am already confident of my driving skills so I decided to go for my licence.

I had the actual driving test yesterday at 3:30 pm which according to my driving instructor was not a very good time because it is still schoolhours.

Before the actual test, we practiced driving around Oakleigh where the test would take place. My instructor was praising me for not making any mistakes and said I should easily pass the test.

Now comes the test. I didn't feel nervous at all. When we got to Bald Hill Park, the testing officer instructed me to turn right at the end of the street. The road was a 50 kph zone and we were like 500 metres away from where I have to do the turn . Just before we reached the end of the street, the testing officer told my instructor to turn the buzzer off and pull-over. When we stopped, my instructor said "You failed already". I was shocked, I said "What?" The testing officer asked me what was the speed limit and I answered it correctly, 50 kph. "Then why are you driving at 55 kph?" she said. Haaaa? It was only then that I realised my mistake.

Overspeedng is an outright failure in driving test. I must have been concentrating too much on the road ahead and maybe I was just too eager to get to the end of the street that I didn't notice my speed was over the limit.

Ah well, there's always a next time.

Labels: ,

Tuesday 21 March 2006
Gold rush in Melbourne

The past 11 days saw some gold rush here in Melbourne. Not the gold that you find in Ballarat though, but gold in the form of medals won in games.

The XVIII Commonwealth Games ended in a high note for Australia who emerged as the over-all champion with 84 golds, 69 silver and 68 bronze medals. England came in second followed by Canada, India and South Africa in the third, fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Labels: ,

Monday 20 March 2006
Soaking up on sports on TV
A few months leading to the Commonwealth Games, Foxtel had been advertising their premium services of the coverage of the event. They offer 7 dedicated channels and up-to-the minute medal tallies. Shane asked me if we can subscribe to this. I was not very amenable to it. I thought we would not be able to enjoy it anyway as we would be at work most of the days. Shane still kept bugging me.

We watched the first few days of the games on Channel 9. On Saturday night, while surfing foxtel channels, we saw that there were games going on simultaneously that Ch 9 does not, or can not broadcast live. Well, Ch 9 can only do so much in terms of airing the games live.

I wanted to watch those games being broadcasted live so I finally said yes to subscribe to foxtel. One call and the access was instant. I justifed it by saying, if we go to any of the games, we would spend more than the $64.95 charge and we would only be able to see one sport.

Now that we have the games on foxtel too, we are able to see all games most especially the basketball. :)

Aside from the games, the test series cricket in South Africa was also on. Australia thrashed South Africa in the first test with seven wickets left.

Also on Channel 10 on Saturday was the NAB Cup footy finals between Geelong Cats and Adelaide Crows. Geelong won the cup.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Malaysia was aired late at 10:30 PM by channel 10. Giancarlo Fisichella of Renault won the race.

Too many sports, too little time.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday 15 March 2006
Guitar? No. Dancing? Yes
I have been looking at buying a guitar so I can start learning again. I already had my eye on Ashton D25 as it is the same as the one I had in Manila. But then, I had to put this aside for the moment due to some financial constraints. I had to send help to the Philippines as my brother's wife had hydrocephalus and had to have brain operation.

So I turned my attention to dancing. Inspired by channel 7's show, Dancing with the Stars, I began going to dance lessons at Star Studios in Bentleigh. They offer free lessons for beginners every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:30-8:30 pm. I went to my second class last night. So far, I have learned the basics of Barn Dance, Cha-cha-cha, Modern Waltz and Merengue. It's fun learning all these dances. It's not as hard as I thought. The instructors are friendly too. And you can come alone, no need for a partner.

There is a social dance after the lessons. It costs $10 to join but the fee is all worth it if you want to practice what you have learned.

Dancing is fun and a good exercise too.

So lets' get dancing.

Labels: ,

Let the games begin!
The 2006 Commonwealth Games officially commences at 7:30 tonight with the opening ceremony at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The games will run for two weeks, from 15th March - 25th March. There are 4500 athletes from different commonwealth nations competing in 16 sports.

To read about the origin of the games, please click here.

Let the games begin!

Labels: ,

Saturday 11 March 2006
So where the bloody hell are you?
"So where the bloody hell are you?"

This is the slogan used by Tourism Australia in an advertising campaign promoting Australia in other countries. In Britain, the ad was banned from airing in televisions. Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre would not alolw the word "bloody" to be used in TV versions of the ad. But print ads and cinema campaign will not be censored.

So what the bloody hell does the word "bloody" mean?

I have heard this a few times in movies, (in Harry Potter movies, Ron said bloody hell a few times), and read it in books especially from Brit authors.

Dictionarydotcom defines the word as :adj: 1. stained with blood; 2. of, characteristic of, or containing blood; adv: used as an intensive.

From Wikipedia : Bloody is the adjectival form of blood but may be also used as a swear word or intensifier/expletive.

The use of the word in the ad could be interpreted as a swear word or an expletive. As an expletive, it does not contribute to any meaning but rather suggests the strength of the feeling of the speaker. The speaker is simply emphasizing what she is saying.

I think it depends on how a viewer take it. Still, it should NOT be aired at times where children can see it.

Labels: ,

Thursday 9 March 2006
Sleep, Glorious Sleep
What is sleep?
Sleep is a natural periodic state of rest during which consciousness to the world is suspended.

Why do we need sleep?
Sleep gives your body a rest and allows it to prepare for the next day. It's like giving your body a mini-vacation. Sleep also gives your brain a chance to sort things out. Scientists aren't exactly sure what kinds of organizing your brain does while you sleep, but they think that sleep may be the time when the brain sorts and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems.

How much sleep do we need?
The amount of sleep a person needs depends a lot on his or her age. Babies sleep a lot - about 14 to 15 hours a day! Most kids between the ages of 5 and 12 years old are somewhere in between, needing 10 to 11 hours of sleep. Some kids might need more and some need less. It depends on the kid.

Most adults sleep 7 to 8 h per night, although the timing, duration, and internal structure of sleep vary among healthy individuals and as a function of age. The more important question is: Do you wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy or not? There are some people who seem to feel refreshed after only 6 hours of sleep, where others need 9 hours. If you find yourself suddenly sleeping more than you usually do then you are probably compensating for a decreased quality of sleep.

Why is sleep important?
Sleep is a natural part of everybody's life. Sleep is something our bodies need to do; it is not an option. Sleep, like diet and exercise, is important for our minds and bodies to function normally. In fact, sleep appears to be required for survival. Rats deprived of sleep die within two to three weeks, a time frame similar to death due to starvation.

An internal biological clock regulates the timing for sleep. It programs each person to feel sleepy during the nighttime hours and to be active during the daylight hours. The light is the cue that synchronises the biological clock to the 24-hour cycle of day and night.

Sleepiness due to chronic lack of adequate sleep is a big problem and affects many children as well as adults. When we get less sleep (even one hour less) than we need each night, we develop a "sleep debt." If the sleep debt becomes too great, it can lead to problem sleepiness – sleepiness that occurs when you should be awake and alert, that interferes with daily routine and activities, and reduces your ability to function. Even if you do not feel sleepy, the sleep debt can have a powerful negative effect on your daytime performance, thinking, and mood, and cause you to fall asleep at inappropriate and even dangerous times.

Problem sleepiness has serious consequences – it puts adolescents and adults at risk for drowsy driving or workplace accidents. In children, it increases the risk of accidents and injuries. In addition, lack of sleep can have a negative effect on children's performance in school, on the playground, on extra curricular activities and in social relationships.

What happens if we don't get enough sleep?
It's easy to worry when you can't sleep. The occasional night without sleep will make you feel tired the next day, but it won't harm your physical and mental state.

However, after several sleepless nights, you will find that:
  • you are tired all the time
  • you drop off during the day
  • you find it difficult to concentrate you find it hard to make decisions
  • you start to feel depressed
This can be very dangerous if you are driving or operating a heavy machinery. Many deaths are caused each year by people falling asleep at the wheel while driving.

Lack of sleep may also make us more vulnerable to high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Skipping one night's sleep makes a person cranky and clumsy. After missing two nights of sleep, a person will have problems thinking and doing things; his or her brain and body can't do their normal tasks nearly as well. After five nights without sleep, a person will hallucinate (this means seeing things that aren't actually there). Eventually, it becomes impossible for the brain to give its directions to the rest of the body without sleep - the brain needs to spend time in bed and catch its ZZZs!

How does sleep (or the lack of it) affect one’s health?
Insomnia has been associated with many problems, some of which are directly related to the individuals health in addition to significant social complications.

At its extreme, sleep deprivation can lead to death. In fact, a potential consequence of sleep deprivation is the famous death through overwork, known as "Karoshi" in Japan.

Problems with memory and concentration are among the most common complications and should not be dismissed as being unimportant. A common manifestation of this are the word-finding difficulties (when one can't find the words one is thinking of). Another manifestation is people also get irritable with lack of sleep.

Among the most pressing social complications is marriage related problems. There are higher divorce rates in people with sleep problems. On the other hand it has been estimated that the cost to society of sleep disorders that includes lost productivity, absenteeism at work, people getting into accidents, the cost of medications for sleeping pills or for stimulants amount to billions of dollars a year.


Wednesday 8 March 2006
I would like to make peace with you
I would like to make you feel a little better, if not better
I would like to say sorry for what I have done that has hurt you
I would like to make up for things

I would help you ease up your mind
I would talk to you about things, only the good ones
I would give you my ears to listen to your heartaches
I would give you my heart to understand your pains

I would take care of you like no one has
I would attend to your needs
I would tuck you in bed and put you to sleep
I would watch over you, as you dream.

I'm going to do these, to myself and for myself.


VCE Exams
Obviously, there's nothing to do at work so I have been blogging my day away.

I got this in an email from a colleague. Apparently this is a VCE exams. I thought this is funny. I guess we could always use a little laugh.

Poker, anyone?
Texas Hold 'Em Poker has tremendously gained popularity in Australia ever since Joe Hazchem won the 2005 World Series of Poker Championship. A staggering US$7.5 million was his prize money. Note that there are a few versions of poker but Texas Hold'em is the most popular of all and a favorite for poker tournaments.

But before Joe bacame a household name, poker was already around. The World Poker Tour is aired on Foxtel's Fox8 channel and ESPN carried World Series of Poker. Channel 10 later followed by airing on Saturday nights, Joker Poker held at the Star City Casino in Sydney. At the moment, Fox 8 is showing the Australian Celebrity Poker held at the Crown Casino.

Playing cards is a common interest between Shane and I. I learned to play gin rummy online from him. He also taught me UNO which we played during lunch hour back in our old jobs. I can play 41, pares-pares (these are pinoy card games) but not tong-it, which is popular in Manila.

Anyways, we got interested in poker when we saw WPT and WSoP on tv. We bought a poker chip set which by then was still a bit expensive. After Joe's conquest of the World Series of Poker, the fever soared. Poker chip sets were everywhere and were selling like pancakes.

We played at home with friends while at the same time learning the rules. A few weeks on, Shane's friend Brad bought a more expensive and professionally looking chip set which he complemented later with a poker table. We keep his chips and table at home for us to use anytime.

Later on, I found Party Poker, an online poker gaming website where you can play poker against anyone around the world for free or using real money to bet. I have installed the game and has since been playing online, using play money, of course.

It's my boredome beater.


Bakit ganun?
Bakit ganun?
Minsan ang buhay, nakakapagod

Bakit ganun?
Ayokong isipin
Ayokong arukin

Bakit ganun?
Kahit anong gawin
Parang may kulang pa rin

Bakit ganun?
Minsan ang tao
Sa buhay, di makuntento

Bakit ganun?
Ang buhay, minsan may sarap
Madalas, ang hirap

Bakit ganun?
Wala akong magawa sa trabaho
Kaya ginawa ko 'to. :D


I have got a lot of subjects in my mind to write about but I just can't get myself into it. Something is amiss. My brain does not seem to work when I want it to work.

I have been feeling melancholic this past week. My head feels so heavy. I get headaches easily.

I think I need a break. A break from everything and anything....


Friday 3 March 2006
Date Movie
Saw Date Movie last night. From the makers of Scary Movie(s), the movie, starring Alyson Hanigan of the American Pie fame, is a spoof of a few chick-flicks - The Wedding Planner, Meet the Fockers, What Women Want, My Fat Greek Wedding and Kill Bill.

The stupidity of the story is what makes it funny. Hilarious, even. I'd give this a seven in my laugh-o-meter.