Monday 22 January 2007
Living in the dark
Imagine living in a house with no electricity in these modern day and age.

Not one electrical appliance would be working. Meaning, no tv, no stereo, no computer & internet, no nothing. You can't cook if your cooking appliance runs on electricity. You can't store persihables. You either will have to go to the market everyday for fresh food or stack up on canned goods. You have to do your washing manually. Imagine how sore you will be after after doing a week's laundry. And how are you going to mow your lawn? By manual shearing? That's back breaking.

What about communicating? If your home phone depends solely on electricity for power and you mobile phone runs out of charge?

It will be back to the old age.

I was imagining all of these yesterday when our power supply had to be cut-off. A guy sent by the energy provider came to our door to let us know he has to cut-off our power for safety reasons. Apparently, the two actives in the distribution box has shorted thereby blowing fuses and in return cutting off power to other houses in the block. In a block of five, we are the only ones who has power but it was dangerous to leave it on. This explains why we have globes blowing all the time. There must be power surges every now and then.

Thankfully, my friend Lani accommodated us and let us store our perishables in their fridge. I was also still able to watch Australia win against New Zealand on cricket and Federer breezed through his match against a younger opponent.

Hopefully, power will be fully restored today when the electrician comes.

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Sunday 21 January 2007
Bikini car wash
The operation of a bikini car wash called Kittens at the corner of North and Warrigal Roads here in Melbourne has irked a lot of residents and church groups. The local council has received numerous complaints about the business and the bikini-clad women who are very visible from the street.

Recently, the car wash attracted media attention (again). The owner, who also operates a strip club, plans to expand his business and has lodged applications with two other municipalities.

The business may be legal, but is it morally correct?

Shane and I have opposing opinions on this. He thinks there is
nothing wrong with it, it's just women in swimwear trying to earn a living. For me, its demeaning to women. It's exploitation.

When people on the street were asked what they think of the business, almost all men who were asked say they like it, nothing wrong with it. Whereas women gave negative answers.

I think these men are just thinking with their dick. (pardon the language)

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Bananas are back!
Yes! Bananas are back in the Australian supermarket shelves.

For almost a year now, bananas became scarce when the Northern Queensland where over 90% of Australian bananas came from, was hit by tropical cyclone Larry. Prices went as high as $13.00 a kilo.

Growers have since recovered from the devastation. Prices are now back to an affordable $3.00 a kilo.

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Wednesday 17 January 2007
Trying my hands at martial arts
When I was a kid, I used to watch Chinese action movies on TV especially Jacky Chan's. I have seen most if not all of his movies even before he became big in Hollywood. The Drunken Master is my all-time favorite. It didn't matter that I didn't understand the dialogues. I was just as happy to sit and watch him do his martial arts antics.

Martial arts is fascinating. One can do it for self-defense, to improve self-confidence or just for fun. Hmmm, for me it would be just for fun.

For years now, Shane has beed doing the Wing Chun Kung Fu, one of the many disciplines of martial arts. He trained at The World Wing Chun Kung Fu Association and later moved to Qian Li Dao Academy where he also trains on Filipino Knife Fighting.

On his encouragement, I tried learning both but lasted only a couple of lessons. I was very frustratred with myself because I can't get the kung fu drills and the knife fighting was too rough. After an hour of training, I went home
with sore and bruised forearms. That did it for me. I didn't come back for more.

Qian Li Dao later offered lessons on (Filipino Martial Arts) Arnis or stick fighting. I tried and found this a bit easier than kung fu and knife fighting and enjoyable. The sound of sticks coming together reminds me of Tinikling, the Philippines' national dance. :D I have been to a few classes now and starting to get the hang of it.

The past weekend, Qian Li Dao had its new year kickstart camp in Joseph Harris Scout Park, Mt Martha in the Mornington Peninsula. Shane went but I did not for reasons that the training would consist of the three martial arts disciplines. I was only interested in one. And more importantly, (this probably weighted more on my decision not to join) I didn't want to get up at 6:30 am on a weekend. Way too early for me. He he...

However, I was happy to drive to the camp on Saturday afternoon to join the Arnis training. Thankfully, Sifu Dana accommodated me for a small fee.

PS: Qian Li Dao is read as Chien Li Dao. I should remind myself this too.


Tuesday 16 January 2007
Scorching hot and power outage
As I am writing this, I am watching tv and switching between the Degree Poker Championship in Ontario, Canada (a replay, I think) on ESPN and the Austrlian Open Tennis matches on local channel. An electric fan is wheezing a couple metres away. Our house is not fitted with an airconditioning system. (Hi there, Santa).

It has been a scorching 39C max today with the northerly winds just as hot. With very low humidity, meaning the air moisture content is less, one can feel the penetrating heat when in direct sunlight.

Temperature rose from 24C at 10am to 36C just after midday. Tennis tournament officials were forced to cancel open court matches.

At about 4 pm, I was surfing and whiling the time away at work when power was suddenly cut-off. I learned a few moments later that massive power outage hit Victoria. Parts of Melbourne, Geelong and eastern Victoria lost power. I left early hoping to get home quicker but as expected the trains were delayed owing to the reduction of power being used and traffic lights on most suburbs do not work. Policemen were stationed on most intersections to direct traffic. The 80kph Nepean Highway which is my route to and from work was crawling at 20kph .

Luckily for us, our burb is spared from the outage.

Bush fires had caused this unfortunate event. Read here the full news report.

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Sunday 14 January 2007
Why do links open to a new window?
After changing my template using the PsycHo Template Generator, I have noticed that the links open to a new page. This is rather annoying because clicking on a lot of links means flooding your desktop with windows. I wanted to change the settings such that the link won't stray to a new window. But what's the mystery behind? Having no idea of how to go about the change, I turned to Google and typed "why does the link opens to a new window?". My question was answered, as always. The tag is the culprit. This tag forces a link to open in a new window and disables the back button of a web browser.

Now that is one mystery solved. Another thing I want to do is to be able to add a page to my website. That would be next.

PS: I have to put the tag as an image attachment because simply typing it results in an html error I can not yet resolve. :D


Friday 12 January 2007
Milk and tea, no good together
I have heard in the Channel 9 news the other day that a study showed that adding milk to tea destroys the health benefits of the tea.

Here is a link to the article the news is referring to.

So, if you are drinking tea for health reasons, better take it black.

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Cricket Ashes Test 2007
The last few weeks saw Australia reigned superior over England in the 2007 Cricket Ashes Test. The 5-series tests started at the Gabba in Queensland and culminated at the Sydney Cricket Ground with tests in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne in between.
Australia "whitewashed" England winning 5-Nil and regained the Ashes which had been lost to England last year. This is only the second time for Australia. The first whitewash happened in 1920. Shane Warne, Justin Langer and Glenn McGrath retired at the end of the series while Damien Martyn suddenly ended his career after the Perth test.

The series also saw a milestone for Shane Warne when he got his 700th Test wicket and 1000th International Test wicket. The feat is a first in the history of cricket worldwide. Shown in the right is Shane Warne being given a victory ride by teammates Andrew Symonds and Matthew hayden after the Melbourne test at the MCG.

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Thursday 11 January 2007
Free offer from Origin Energy
Just after we had dinner last night, an Origin Energy salesman came to our door. He had a free offer of one month free electricity for Origin Energy users. The catch? You have to stay with Origin in the next 12 months. You'll get your freebie on the 12th month. The good thing though is that there is no contract to be signed. Just continue to be with them for a year. If you leave before the 12th month, you won't get the freebie.

The offer is to entice customers to stay with them for at least another year. The offer looked good, so why not grab it. We are an existing customer anyway and have no plans of moving to another utilities provider.

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New Look
For a few days now, I have been working on a complete revamp of this site . I have finished most of it and I’m quite happy with the results. I wanted a chocolatey look to it but reading the texts in a very dark background strains my eyes so I adjusted the color a bit. The result is this new look. It’s more brown-orange than chocolate brown. The original template was green in different hues. I kinda got bored of it, thus the change.

I’m no computer geek so it was not an easy task but thankfully I have managed to do it. It took a lot of patience as I was doing it “trial and error” style.

Hopefully, this would motivate me to write more often.

There are bits that I’m not very satisfied still, like the google ads. I wanted to put it on the side or maybe at the bottom of every entry but it throws away the side columns to the bottom of the page when I do that. Haay, hirap magpakadalubhasa . But anyway, I’ll leave this as it is for the moment and take the challenge of improving more later. It’s something I can look forward into developing my computer skills.


Wednesday 10 January 2007
Night at the Museum - the movie
We went to see the movie Night at the Museum with no great expectations at all. I know this movie is for kids. But as it turned out, we enjoyed it. The movie was funny.

My favorite line in the movie is when Ben Stiller was asked about his "snapper" invention. He said, "Yeah, I'm just waiting for the technology to catch up with the idea." I thought it's clever.

Night at the Museum is an adaptation from a children's book of the same title by Milan Trenc.


Thursday 4 January 2007
I have learned a new game this holiday break, the Yahtzee. Our usual poker game with two Brads (Shane's bro and bestfriend), became a Yahtzee game. It is fun but doesn't involve skill at all. It's all luck.

And my luck sucks.


Hibernation, being busy and all
This blog has been in hibernation for over two months now. I have been busy with a lot of things that I haven't got time to sit down and write. Until now.

At the end of August last year, we moved houses form Cheltenham to Dingley Village. Then, in the first week of November, our office moved to Prahran. My 15-minute travel time to work has become an hour. I drive to Brighton Beach station everyday and take the train from there. This is the most practical route for me to take as Prahran is in the Sandringham Train Line. During these times, I have been busy organising and setting up the lab while at the same time doing work for customers. Once I'm home, we would be busy organising the house. It took us almost three months to get things in order in the house.

After this, comes Christmas. For the first time in as many years, Melbourne had a white Christmas. Cold, that is. At about 3:00 Am on Christmas day, a hailstorm came. Our lawn and backyard were all white with ice/snow the size of mung (mongo) grains. There were still a bit left when we got up in the morning. Usually, Christmas is hot here as it is the summer season.

This year, we were the hosts for the family Christmas lunch.
Although there were only a few of us plus Janine and Ramille, it was still a bit of work preparing food and organising Christmas decors for the house. But I had fun putting up the Christmas tree and some decors. I even made my own mistletoes. I wanted to really feel the season so I made it a point to decorate the house this year. I suppose everyone enjoyed the meal of roast turkey, fresh salad, roast vegies, prawns in cashew-nuts crumbs and macaroni salad which Ramille made. I cheated a bit though in preparing the turkey. I bought a cooked one so I only have to re-heat it and serve. Mum brought a yummy plum pudding which she served with custard and whipped cream.

I got an Ipod Nano 2nd Gen from Shane this year. I gave him a Polar heart rate monitor. Also, Mum gave us $200 Bunnings Warehouse voucher so we combined that with the $100 cash gift from Papa and we were able to buy the outdoor 7-piece setting we wanted. Very nice Christmas presents.

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