Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Photo taken from here.

My blog is always delayed. My apologies. Still struggling with this cough, and the common cold decided to join its lonesome party. The more the merrier? Not really. Being on the optimistic side of things, at least, I'm able to accomplish little meaningful goals day to day. (Yeah, right. hahaha)

Thanksgiving Day came and went, yet I failed to write promptly about what I was thankful for. My favorite saying comes to mind, "Better late than never." How wonderful to write about Thanksgiving in December! That's optimism.

So, here it is, my Thanksgiving list:

1. I'm thankful for the toxic people who are NOT present in my life. God gave me the right path to make them disappear. Answered prayers indeed! May they all find peace on their own journey without me in the picture and without them wanting to be a part of my life. I have no wish to know anything about them. May they also wish the same.

2. I'm also thankful for the wonderful people who surround me: my penpals (random total strangers who became close to me through snail mailing), my band friends (who are music lovers just like me), my other in-person friends (co-workers, Meetup members, my social media pals--people reading this,--and random acquaintances), my adopted US soldier (for doing what he does so I could do what I'm doing), and those I consider very close to me (you know who you are). They keep me sane. Well, there are times that I get nuts, but they get nuts with me, too. If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em! I feel their wonderful support in everything, and I try my best to be there for them as well.

3. Thank you for my heart family: my wonderful parents-in-law, sister-in-law, and stepkids. They have all accepted me as their very own. I feel the warmth of their love, their friendship, and endless caring. I'm truly blessed.

4. I'm very thankful for my one and only son. Didin, mahal na mahal kita, anak. Be good always. I'm so happy to see you progressing in your studies. Study harder. Thank you for being you, and I'm so happy with what you are doing (working and studying at the same time).

5. Thank you for a wonderful husband who is also my best friend, lover, confidant, ally, and partner in crime (not that kind of crime!). Our communication is the best thing in our relationship. We laugh together, everyday, and it's the most wonderful thing in the world. I'm thankful for always having that feeling when we just couldn't wait to see each other, to share stories about our day, and to just simply wrap our arms around each other at the end of the day. Not to mention our non-stop texting and emailing daily, too. Thank you, Shaggy, for the honesty, the trust, the friendship, and the endless caring love that you give me.

6. Last but not the least, I'm thankful for the Big Guy Above. I know He watches over me. Everything that happened in my life happened for a reason. I am who I am right now because of all those incidents. I don't regret a single thing. It is what it is, and I'm walking forward with my head up high, praising Him and thanking Him for giving me everybody who loves me in my life.

The best part of our Turkey Day was the surprise birthday gifts and candled pumpkin cheesecake as birthday cake. Yum!

How about you, what was your Thanksgiving list?

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Month of November

My blog site appears to be under an unwanted hiatus. I've been under my cough medication since Halloween (well, first was syrup, then gels... now, hot tea with lemon and inhaler... sigh). I'd blame the change of weather. Being tropical, Fall's cold and rain don't do me good. My medication makes me loopy and sleepy, disabling me to do my normal routines. My snail mail letters have piled up as well, and I've been trying to get caught up with them. That's in between of adding words on my manuscript, too. I'm not whining, just retelling what it's been like the first half of November.

The great thing about it all is having a loving husband. He takes care of me when I'm sick. Don't get me wrong, I do take care of him, too, in lots of ways. We take care of each other. That's what's important. We can't get enough of each other's company all the time. He has doubled his presence with me this month! More cuddles, more snuggles, more snizzles, and shizzles... Use your imagination. *laughs*

This month, is my birthday month. My husband spoiled me too much. He took me to different new places (it's not like we don't normally go to different new places on a regular day already...the whole month of November was filled up with small adventures!).

The first one was Chop Bar in Oakland, CA. We had brunch there on the 15th, and I found my favorite drink: Bacon Bloody Mary! You all know how I love red. It's the perfect drink! It had a great spicy kick with added crunchy bacon goodness. Perfect birthday drink!

He also took me to a romantic French restaurant in Fremont, CA on the 14th. Papillon served us great food: Bordeaux, Escargot, French Onion Soup, Filet Mignon, and Chocolat Au Ganache. I got a free dessert! C'est si bon!

He also brought me and my stepkids to a Sushi Buffet dinner on the 15th. I love sushi, crabs, shrimp...seafood galore! The restaurant played the birthday song and everybody, including other customers, sang the song to me. The server had a plate of dessert with candle and placed it on our table. He then started playing a gong along with the birthday song being played by the house sound system. I was embarrassed, but I couldn't stop laughing at the gong sound. It reminded me of a singing contest where a contestant gets eliminated with a gong. I had fun.

On top of that, he gave me a brand new Coach crossbody bag. I felt spoiled. Now, I have to really plan something big for his birthday next year. *winks* Oh hey, any suggestions?

Two of my co-workers also celebrated their birthdays this month. So, aside from them buying me lunch on the 14th, we had two other separate lunch escapades: one on the 20th and one on the 22nd. Too much food! I've been diligently walking or running up and down the stairs to burn off the calories. But, we all know the holidays are coming. More scrumptious food! It's a job for the eliptical machines after that. Maybe, I'd hit the dirt track or the lake trail. *grins* Meh, burpees at home will do, too.

By the way, my cough is actually getting better after all those Bloody Marys. *giggles* So, what have you been up to lately?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Filipino Breakfast

This past weekend, I thought of blogging about breakfast, specifically the Filipino breakfast, because a lot of my penfriends are asking what Filipino food is all about. I'd start by saying that it is very different from the all-American breakfast most of my friends know, and I thought of sharing what Filipinos normally have at the breakfast table.

Typical American Breakfast - Bacon, Eggs, Country Potatoes

First, let me tell you what the all-American breakfast is, based from my dining experiences here in California (remember, this is not an official statistics). If you want an all-American breakfast, you'd get the standard eggs, meat (it can be bacon, sausage, ham, steak or combinations), hash browns or country potatoes, and an added option of cheese, perhaps. You'd also get sides of biscuits or toast, even a cup of fruit or veggies if you don't want the bread and jam tandem. These can be served separately as is or as an omelet. Others order pancakes on the side. At least, that's my observation. Maybe, you could contribute if I'm missing something. (Note that I didn't add the Mexican-fusion burrito breakfast and salsa.)

Typical Filipino Breakfast - Bangsilog (Milk Fish, Fried Rice, Fried Eggs)

Tapsilog (Cured Beef, Fried Rice, Fried Egg) with sides of Spam and Bacon

The Filipino breakfast is definitely different from that. We Filipinos always have rice with our meal—morning, noon and night. Sometimes, desserts have rice as well, but that's another topic. Rice can be steamed or fried with other goodies (like scrambled eggs and veggies). Our choice of breakfast meat is diverse. It can be pork, beef, chicken, fish or combinations—spam and hotdogs are also considered. We love various stuff on our plates, and we love dipping sauces or gravy to pour on our rice and/or meat. This is why we normally have pickled relishes or Atchara, and we also have our famous Tapsilog (cured beef, fried rice and fried egg) dipping sauce which is vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper with garlic. At least, that's what my sauce mix is composed of. Others have the standard vinegar only, straight from the bottle (some have spicy chili in them, too).

Jefroxilog (Crispy Fried Sole Fish, Fried Rice, Fried Eggs)

Yes, we eat fish for breakfast. It can be canned sardines, smoked fish (Tinapa), or dried fish (Tuyo). Philippines is surrounded by water, and a lot of our hard-working folks support themselves through fishing. We hardly have cows on land, except for our friendly Philippine Carabao's helping farmers to plant more rice. So, for those wondering why your co-workers are heating up fish-smelling breakfast containers in your office, well, it's what we eat in the morning. I love spicy sardines and rice!

I grew up with the Filipino breakfast. In fact, I grew up with the Filipino meals, and that means having rice in every meal. When I arrived here more than a decade ago, I've learned not to have rice in my meals. It feels like something is lacking. Once in a while, I enjoy my steamed rice at home, but I've learned how to eat oatmeal, toast, and cereal. I consider Filipino Breakfast as a special kind of morning meal nowadays. Unlike when I was a little girl, eggs-toast-pancakes were the special meal. It's now reversed.

So, what's the best breakfast? Who knows? I eat whatever is available. I choose protein over carbohydrates, though. That means Steak and Eggs than French Toast, or Meaty Omelet than Pancakes. But, if I go to a Filipino restaurant in the morning, Tapsilog please!

How about you, what's your breakfast?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Last weekend, a question from a famous childhood kid's TV program became the topic in front of my house. I mentioned, “in front of my house,” because my family and I had a conversation with one of our neighbors right in front of our yard located in front of the house. I'm over-explaining things nowadays. **smiles**

Who are the people in your neighborhood? Do you know? Are you aware who surrounds you in your little circle where you live, where your kids play, and where you feel safe?

My husband and I discussed a recently disturbing news about Amanda Berry and other two kidnapped girls. Their kidnapper was a quiet man in a neighborhood that could be anybody's. Just like yours and mine, our neighborhood. Do you pay attention to who your neighbors are? They might be quiet, but are they really?

I'm not saying that one should pry inside their neighbor's house and check whether they're doing something illegal. Who knows? But, don't we want to know who is doing something illegal in the neighborhood where our kids are? I surely wouldn't want my kids outside with those.

In your neighborhood, here are things that you might want to observe and perhaps practice:

Keeping people against their will is illegal in human rights kind of way. It's not easy to spot if one of your neighbors are exercising it. I'm not saying that you should be prying inside your neighbor's house. We are in a hi-tech era. Consider investing in surveillance cameras outside your house. You are adding security to yours as well as being able to provide possible help for others when needed.

Our neighborhood is zoned out as residential zones. There are areas where they are zoned to be industrial or business zones. If someone is doing business activity inside their house, that is already illegal by zoning law. However, if someone has a hair salon compared to someone doing illegal trade inside their house, you might want to differentiate which trade is bad for your neighborhood instead. You don't want criminals coming and going in your neighborhood buying illegal stuff or doing illegal activities. Hosting a business party at home (example: Tupperware, Party Lite, Avon, etc.) is also different. Business-minded people aren't bad for your neighborhood. They generate decent and legal income compared to selling contraband or doing illegal services. I don't need to write down in detail what those are. You should know what's right and wrong.

Business permits are needed and advertised out in the open, instead of discreet, weird, verbal ads. Unless one is telecommuting or working from home while legally employed, work is normally done away from home. When one works from home, give them the benefit of the doubt, but not total judgment. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of good friends who work from home, and some mothers, Accountants or Tax Preparers, Notary Public are good examples. In your neighborhood, however, once you really give a good observation to some, you'll discover a few weird ones.

So, at this point, I'd ask again, who are the people in your neighborhood? Do you really know?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Life in Judgment

In several recent days, some random friends of mine have discussed with me the following issues:

From Ms. One: People think I don't have a life because I always go to my boyfriend's events, like they think my life is my boyfriend's sport events. Why can't I like sports? They don't know I love watching sports because I want to write a sports column. They judge me so easily.

Mrs. Two: My husband's friends think that I have no life of my own because I'm always present where my husband is. Every party, every occasion, I'm with my husband. They think I have no friends of my own or my own group to go party with. But, I socialize because I have a bakery business to promote. I get orders all the time. They think I'm guarding my husband.

Miss Three: My parents think I need to find something I really like to do, as if I don't do anything at all. They push me out of the house, and they want me to do sports. But, they don't see who I really am. I love to cross-stitch and do crafts. Why can't they see that?

The question is, why do people think that about other people? Just because someone hangs out often with another doesn't mean that particular someone has no life of his/her own. How about you, what makes you different from the person you always hang out with? What's the reason you even hang out with that person? Everybody has different intentions in this world, but the intent to question someone else's individuality shouldn't be one of them. Why can't they just be there?

I'll write about "me," for example. I organize events and gather different friends together to have fun. I don't call it a life, but I call it exploration. Not just of my own self, but it is an exploration of almost everything around me, about me, about others. I discover a lot of things I love and enjoy: meeting new friends, socializing, going to different places, exploring different dishes, photography, and writing all about it. Everyday is an opportunity to learn and discover new things. At least, that's how I see it.

When it comes to my husband, he brought back music to my life. I studied piano and church organ when I was a little girl, up to my teen years. Reading music is not new to me, and when I decided to learn the saxophone, my husband guided me to it. If I go with him to his events, it doesn't mean I always ride along with his kind of life. Music has been a part of my life, and I'm discovering a new way of experiencing it for myself. I've also been in band gigs back home as a vocalist. So, my husband's baritone sax band gigs brought me back to the past. I love watching live music anyways, so we were a match--him performing and me a part of the audience.

The big thing other people don't see is my love for photography and writing. I won't call myself a professional photographer. I won't even consider myself good at photography, but I do try to learn slowly and discover something magical through my camera. See, that's a part of my life. Going to events help me execute that part of my life.

After the events I go to, I write about it. I studied Journalism and Writing for Mass Media in college. I practice my writing by scribbling different stuff on my journals. So, going to my husband's gigs helps me be me. I may not post everything that I write, but it doesn't mean I don't have anything better to do. Just like my friends who get questioned. Why would they let the whole world know? I mean, why would they explain themselves for being around, for hanging out when others think they shouldn't be? Why do people think someone doesn't belong?

That should be an example. Maybe those do-not-belong-here-individuals are practicing their social skills, joke-telling, or cooking (by sharing dishes to parties). Who knows, right? Each individual has a purpose and has a reason for being around, for hanging out. That's life itself. UNLESS, you are doing something illegal or a crime. I'm not judging those of you who do, by the way. I want you to realize what you are doing. See, that's a whole different flow of thought. But then, who really knows what's right and wrong, correct? Think again. There are rules in this world, especially in this country, for example. Doing something against the rules is just wrong. Period. I digress. That's an entirely different ball game (or topic).

Anyways, I'm writing this blog for my friends who are questioned by others, judged for doing what's right, and looked down upon because of not knowing why. Keep doing the good things that you are doing by being you, by enjoying what you do, without breaking rules (I guess that depends on what rule, hahaha), and by laughing out loud. Your happiness is the meaning of life.

Date Night: Lu'au

This past weekend, I treated my husband to a Dinner Show. It's Hui 'Ilima's 54th Annual Lu'au (All-You-Can-Eat Hawaiian Sit-Down Dinner and Hawaiian Dance Show). It's one of my favorite events.

It was held at the familiar grounds of IFES Portuguese Hall in Mountain View. A long line of patrons greeted us when we arrived, and we had to walk through clusters of people to get at the very end. The familiar booths of Hawaiian souvenirs sat around the side of the building. They were colorful and cute. My husband bought me a new purple hair clip to match the purple muumuu I was wearing. Of course, I matched with my husband's purple shirt, too, which was a practiced tradition of ours.

The doors opened up and everybody slowly stepped inside the big hall. There were around 300 attendees. I wasn't sure, there maybe more than that. The hall almost filled up, just like the previous years. Every long table was occupied with colorful Hawaiian-garbed attendee. It was a fun sight. We met new friends from our table, too. Some of them experienced the event only this year, while others attended for years.

After we got comfortable at our table, the event servers started giving out the yellow Styrofoam food trays full of goodies. They separated the dishes with Styrofoam cups. It's easier to clean and gather. We had Baked Fish, Haupia, Sweet Bread, Sweet Potato and Pineapples for appetizers. The dinner consisted of the Kahlua Pork, Lomi-Lomi Salmon, Chicken Long Rice Soup, Poi and Steamed White Rice. Fruit Punch, Coffee, and Water for drinks. They did have alcohol for extra purchase at a bar located inside one of the rooms of the hall, but we didn't avail of it.

The food was great. (It has always been great every time I've attended--except for Poi. I'm not a fan of Poi--a taro paste or pudding of some sort. Well, don't get me wrong. Maybe others like it, but not me.) We were the ones who gave up. We said no to the servers. We just couldn't handle all of the offered helpings. **laughs** After dinner, raffle tickets were called, and there were different prizes. After that, the dance show started.

They had a new group of dancers this year from Kawailehua Hula Ohana. I love watching the exotic dances, especially the Tahitian dance. It reminded me of my little girl days when I donned a grass skirt on and danced Tahitian. (Shaking your booty to the Tahitian drum beat is a great exercise, you know. **giggles**) The male dancers were quite popular that night. Hmm, I wonder why. **laughs**

Overall, it was a great date night with my husband. I may be too late to ask, but how did you spend your weekend?

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Of Many More To Come

My husband and I are on vacation mode this whole week. It's our first wedding anniversary and we have decided to get away from the busy Bay Area of California. We have landed on a different Bay Area here in the East Coast.

We have been spending our time reminiscing how we met, walking along the beach, hand in hand, enjoying the breeze of the Atlantic. We have explored different and unknown places, exotic food, and interesting acquaintances. It was quite a journey, a roller coaster, including weird characters both helpful and evil. Wait, that sounds like a book. *laughs* Well, life can be like a book. It has settings, protagonists, plots, and antagonists. Not to forget climax. Multiple climax. *grins* The power lies on the goodness of one's heart and purpose.

No, seriously. Our whole relationship includes weird parts like that, but we came out victorious, triumphant, and very happy. That's what's important, and we keep it that way all the time. Being the best of friends, with high respect for each other, no matter what obstacles come across our way, we are very solid for each other. In the past, one villain has predicted we'd never make it, but here we are... very much in-love, holding on to each other. Don't ask me what happened with the villain. That villain remained a loser. We moved on.

Have you ever been challenged when it comes to your relationships? It feels like it takes forever to be solved, but at the end of the dark tunnel, everything comes out clear, especially if you are on the right path, doing the correct things in life. Good things happen to those who do good. At least, that's what I believe in. Not Zodiac Sign predictions. *laughs*

To my wonderful husband who never stops spoiling me... I love you... I love you, Shaggy, very much... Here's to the next adventurous years to come...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's wrong with me?

After the A to Z Blog Challenge, I totally disappeared from the blogosphere. Not that I was kidnapped or something. It's also not about me quitting writing. It's about my kind of reading.

My writing has a big similarity with my reading style. I read multiple books at the same time. Well, not literally at the very same time, that is. I mean, I'd start reading one book. When I get to a part where it's boring, I'd start reading another book. The process repeats itself naturally.

My writing is quite the same. When I don't want to blog, nor write an article for online publication, I'd write snail mail letters or write in my private journal. I still write everyday, though. They're just not open for everybody to see. Now, that's a bit of a mystery. I love mysteries.

Wait, I'm sounding like I have attention deficit disorder. I'm still talking about writing. That's what I'm actually doing. Let's just go to the actual content of this blog before I go blabbering about something else.

Recently, I discovered that I have OCD. It's not the ever-popular washing of hands or cleaning every corner of the house. (Trust me, I don't clean every minute. I don't clean, period. Well, if needed.)

My OCD is connected with lines and my feet. If I see lines—crooked, straight, curved, bent, and circular—I just won't step on it. Now, see here, I'm not always looking at my feet. This only happens when I can see the ground I'm walking on. It's automatic.

If there's a crack on the pavement, I'd skip over it. If there are lines that separate the floor tiles, I'd try to not step on it. If there's a trace of whatever substance on the surface of the floor, it creates lines. I'd avoid it. I'd just step on solid surface. Solid blocks.

Remember, this happens only if I'm looking on the ground I'm walking on. If I'm looking straight ahead, I don't really care what happens down below, especially if I'm carrying bags or books. I don't look down when I'm in a hurry, too.

I discovered this at work. We have different floor surfaces—carpeted, tiled, linoleum, wood. Carpets are easy. I just glide through them. However, one time there was a dried up spill on one of our office areas, I still avoided stepping on it. It was already dried up. People were walking on it. For the other flooring, I'd avoid the obvious.

What's wrong with me? Oh I'm sure there's nothing wrong with me. Right? Maybe, I just didn't like the part of Superman The Movie where Lois Lane's car got swallowed by the road. Who knows, really? Still, it bugs me.

I'm a bug. I love bugs. Well, ladybugs.

Darn, I have ADD and OCD.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Old School Z

Z is for Zoinks.

I know, I know. Zoinks is gibberish.

Gibberish is what we get when text messaging came out. We used to write complete sentences, correct spellings, and use correct punctuation. Right now, after the internet and computer boom, we see a lot of these:

Text Message #1: Wassup bro!? Watcha doin? U gona C me l8r @ 9?
Text Message #2: Yo! Im chillin bro. C ya @ 9!

I know that a lot of you would say, "Well, there's only this much characters allowed, especially on Twitter..." Seriously? I got an email with "text message lingo." It's crazy! Just because they emailed through their phone, they got used to the text message spelling.

I do hope school teachers don't pass those essays with that kind of writing. I mean, come on.

I admit, at first, I tried it, but I felt I damaged the whole English structure. I'm looking at my fellow Filipinos and shake my head when I see them shortening their Tagalog words with weird syllable replacements. Here's an example:

Me (english) = Ako (Tagalog) = Aq (gibberish) = ZOINKS!

See what I mean? I hope that the complete English structure won't be obsolete.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Old School Y

Y is for Yellow Pages.

Our good old business finder. The big bulky Yellow Pages book. When you need plumbing services, or electrical services (any type of service or business for that matter), just open up your big Yellow Pages book. All businesses are alphabetically arranged for easy browsing. Those were the olden days before Google. Nowadays, you go to Google's site (or any other search engine that you use), type what you need and voila! A long list of answers right in front of your screen. This means, you can also search through your data-connected phone, tablet, and computers, anywhere, anytime. So easy, no flipping pages, and definitely no killing trees.

The Old School X

X is for Xerox and X-Rated.

Before you scroll down to the last topic, do read Xerox first. *laughs* The word Xerox is what I'm referring to. When Xerox came out, it became easy for us to have multiple copies of documents. I know that this is way before the internet and computers, and Xerox is a brand name not a verb, but somehow, the word Xerox itself became popular that people used it as the official word meaning "to copy." For example:

Boss: Miss Smith, please xerox these legal documents and mail them out.
Secretary: Yes, Mr. Williams.

When the internet and computers came out, the word xerox slowly diminished and the correct word "copy" took place. At least, that's how I've observed it. I do know that it's not obsolete. Some still use it to order copies of documents, but at this age and time, the word "copy" is a better verb. Right?

Okay, so here we arrive at the topic X for X-Rated Paid Porn. Yes, before the internet and computers, x-rated porn were paid through renting or buying copies at video stores or sex-toy stores. (Don't ask me where! LOL) Now that the internet is all out in full force, there are a whole bunch of free porn accessible through the world wide web. *cringe* (Don't ask me for the URL Links!) So, for parents out there, beware. Full length movies of x-rated porn are all out the internet. Guard your computers well.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Old School W

W is for Walkman and Wrist Watches.

Not everybody today has seen the first Walkman sets. But for those who have, I'm sure you rocked yourself out with it back in the days. If you don't know what it is, a Walkman is a Sony brand portable audio cassette player that comes with U-shaped headphones. Old school!

The first sets actually introduced a big change in people's music-listening habits. People were able to carry music with them anywhere they go.

Walkman is still a Sony brand, but it is now used for better improved gadgets. With the MP3s, phones, and tablets out, I don't think a portable audio cassette player can be seen around nowadays. Inside antique stores, probably.

Let's talk about wrist watches. They're definitely not obsolete. You'd still see a lot of people wearing expensive wrist watches. However, they might not be as big of a number as in the past prior to cellphones. I'm one of those who don't wear wrist watches anymore. My phone tells me time all the time. I always have my phone with me, so I don't need to wear a wrist watch. Plus, the computers always have time on the lower right corner of the screens. Who needs a wrist watch? I guess, if I'm attending a formal dinner of some sort, maybe I'd consider it as a fashion jewelry, but not as a necessity anymore.

Do you still wear a wrist watch?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Old School V

V is for VCR, VHS and Vinyl Records.

VCR stands for Video Cassette Recorder. I believe this is definitely obsolete since we now have Digital Recorders and Tivo. No rewinders. It's easy and convenient. That's the important thing about technology.

VHS stands for Video Home System. It is a consumer level analog recording videotape-based cassette standard. With the convenience of Compact Discs, VHS is on the edge of goodbye. However, there are still a lot of VHS users out there. Their number is slowly decreasing, though.

Vinyl Records became obsolete when compact discs and MP3s came out. However, I recently read online that there are vinyl records sold in stores. Antique turntables are polished and used. I prefer vinyl, if only I own my own turntable, seriously.

I forgot another important T. Toll takers or personnel. With the growth of Fastrak, people taking toll payments are now jobless. The Golden Gate bridge is on Fastrak mode all around. No more toll takers. Technology takes human jobs away.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Old School U

U is for Unlimited Privacy.

It's not a brand name nor an obsolete gadget. It is your privacy. Ever since social media came out, your hidden world is now exposed. Well, that's if you are the type who lingers around computers and creates public profiles in popular social media sites. Just like me, always on my phone, my tablet and my laptop. Nowadays, not having those is sort of considered creepy (who said that?). I read it from an online article, that's what. Even criminals have Twitter and Facebook accounts, that's why. Is this the new type of reverse psychology? Who knows?

Seriously, is our privacy getting obsolete? I remember in the past, when someone is loud and all over the place, we consider that person strange and a bad influence. Right now, however, if someone is hidden and not socializing, that person is the strange one. Really? Wheels of change have turned.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Old School T

T is for Typewriter machines and Turntables.

I miss my Typing Class in college, especially the antique typewriter machines. I loved hitting the keys so hard that it seemed like a great spilling ground for violence. *laughs* Seriously speaking, if you didn't hit the typewriter keys hard, you'd likely get no carbon print on your work. Hit it hard! Unless you're Clark Kent, then don't. You'll destroy it! *wink wink* I loved typewriters because it projected discipline from the typist. There were certain rules to follow. If not, the whole project would be a failure, particulary when we typed that trees poem by Joyce Kilmer. It was difficult at first, but after getting the hang of it, everything became easy. The whole poem looked like a tree! Just imagine how hard it was to be a writer in the past. You'd have to use a typewriter! Ha!

I don't think Turntables are obsolete. In fact, I think they're having a come-back appearance. There are music records that are getting sold in vinyl form as of late. That only means turntables are still around to play them. Turntables have this very distinctive crisp sound when you mount the vinyl on and let the needle ride with it. I must have my favorite Frank Sinatra songs and a foxtrot dance step... I'd be all set!

Do you miss those things?

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Old School S

Before I start with S, let me say that I totally forgot about one important R. The Rotary Phone. It's so obsolete for me, that's why. *laughs* Everything about the non-rotary phones means push buttons. Rotary dial is just vintage art nowadays. I was kidding. I have seen some that are still rotary, but it makes me not want to touch it. It's that feeling when you're in front of an antique object. You're afraid to break it. *giggles*

Okay, so here we go with the S. It's all about Snail Mailing. Without the internet, especially emailing and texting messages, snail mailing was the only form of communication (silent communication, that is, so don't consider the phone). You do know how important communication is, especially between long distance admirers, lovers or friends. One has to put up a good impression, even on paper. Different kinds of stationery pads, pens, pencils, stickers, envelopes--even scented ones--and stamps were in full trade. People had to write legibly and exercise their hands through their different ink strokes. And then, one waits for replies. Wait, wait, and wait. Unlike the internet's speedy delivery, the post office delivery takes a while.

I love receiving snail mail. This is not obsolete, and that's my personal experience. I'm still a member of International Pen Friends Club, and there are still a whole lot of people who write letters and send them via air mail or regular local post. We just can't allow the post offices to close!

Writing letters is a very nice thing. It's more personal, intimate, and passionate. Special time and attention are given in order to create one letter. I know that one also gives time and attention when you type an email or even do a typewritten-printed letter, but Times New Roman, Arial and Garamond, even Comic Sans, are not your handwriting. Your penmanship is unique. That makes it more special.

I love my numerous international and local penfriends! Their letters inspire me to write, and replying to them helps me become a better writer.

Do you want to exchange snail mail letters? *grins*

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Old School R

There's a lot of old school Rs.

I'm quite sure that you are all familiar with business cards. We exchange them with other professionals whom we do business transactions with. Or, we just give them to those who need our contact information. The cards that we get are normally inserted in card holders or mounted on a Rolodex. It's a brand of card holder with different styles. With the boom of the cellphone industry, we now throw away business cards after recording phone numbers and other contact information on our phones. Why keep recyclables on Rolodex, right?

When it comes to recorders, we use tapes in the past. Big ones and small ones. They get recorded on, rewinded, erased, and recorded on again. Nowadays, digital recorders are what we use. Non-bulky, easy to use, no more winding and rewinding. Tapes are obsolete when it comes to recording data. It's definitely something I really like.

With hi-technology in place and improved, reporting news or data sharing is now instant. Unlike in the past when every footage gets recorded and gets transported before getting aired and viewed. Not every news van had live feed capabilities. In fact, with cellphones having video recorders, even non-journalists have the ability to record news data and transport to TV stations. I would like to mention here the Boston Marathon Bombings as an example. Without the help of non-journalists' input of data (specifically random photos and videos), the suspects wouldn't have been caught. Thanks to all who contributed their photos and videos. Thanks to all of Boston's finest--cops--SWAT, FBI, military and all authorities, too. United we stand! Now, this is what I call great technology. Don't you agree?

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Old School Q

Q is for Queues and Queries.

I'm referring to queues inside grocery stores. Have you noticed that we now have self-check out? I know that lines won't die down ever. It won't get obsolete. However, we've improved technology and taken out some of the cashiers out. Bad for employment, but is it really convenient for shoppers? Queues may be old school when self-check out is around, but how fast can one check out? I see a long line behind the self-check out stands, really.

When it comes to queries, it is so easy to find answers nowadays. Google or Bing, everything's online and on your phone. Unlike before, it is so difficult to do research. It's all hands-on. You have to go to big libraries or big institutions in order to find data. Today, with the convenience of the internet, everything is a few typing of letters away. Perhaps the next level of improvement is to discover telekinetic powers. Bring items to you! Oh well, I'm dreaming...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Old School P

There's a lot of stuff under P.

First, Polaroid Cameras. I'm sure you've heard of it. Maybe, some of you haven't seen an actual one, but you've seen its kind of photos through Instagram or other camera apps from your phones. I've used one in the past. Point, shoot, print, fan the print-out, and fan more. Meaning, dry it out. *laughs* I've used it taking a lot of my pets' photos back home in the Philippines. Now, that makes me feel old. *cringe* I don't really miss it much, because I don't consider it producing a good quality picture. However, it surely made a big difference when it comes to "instant" cameras. No need to wait for film to develop.

Next is Passwords. Technology has shown us new ways of passing security: retina displays, finger prints, and hand prints. Big example for this is my 24 hour fitness gym membership. My password to enter the gym is not my driver's license anymore. It's my index finger print and phone number. Passwords aren't obsolete yet. It just evolves to something uniquely you. This is being tried out. Not all establishments use this yet. Maybe, they're all waiting for the tongue print. Who knows?

Last but not the least, Plastic Bags. Lots of stores have banned plastic bags in connection to the green campaign of different organizations. At least, here in the Bay Area they're mostly banned. They're now replaced by reusable bags. Now, if only my brain won't forget to bring it with me when shopping. Sigh.

What do you think of these old school stuff? Pros and cons?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Old School O

O is for Old School.

I'm talking about the old school of old schools in my own terms, and this concerns cash.

I don't carry cash. Bills or dollar notes, if you want to be very specific. I prefer paying with my ATM or Credit Cards. All my transactions end up in my bank statement, and it's easier for me to manage and check everything. That's the hi-tech payment for me. So, using cash is sort of neanderthal. For me, okay? I'm talking about me.

Cash payment is too old school. It requires me to get the receipts and keep them away until the next tax filing. Nooo! It's annoying. But I guess, Neat Receipts was invented for that, too. Still, receipts are printed out. I applaud the companies who email me receipts instead.

I know that not everybody has succumbed to the ATM-Credit-Card convenience because of all the identity theft reports, bank glitches, etc. In fact, a lot of Asian restaurants don't want to charge. They want cold hard cash. Maybe that's why I don't go to them. I don't like places where I'm required to bring cash for paying. I patronize the establishments with Visa/Mastercard logos outside their doors.

Maybe I'm too picky, but what's your take on this old school payment?