Thursday, September 28, 2006

Random Thoughts c/o Milenyo...

The tell-tale signs...

The wind chimes at the house have been unusually animated these past few days. They say a storm is coming. People are up and about early, making preparations for the worst. No clear indications yet on declaration of no work in the private sector but I'm sure I need to get to the office. So I left the house early with the mad music of wind chimes still playing in my head...

Milenyo at its worst...

The winds were terrible. Had to brave the storm to get to the office early and check on the safety and security of the site. I promised to go home early and weather the storm there. Didn't realize we were travelling at the height of the storm when it hit land. Fallen trees, broken signs, traffic. Broken and shattered stuff flying everywhere...

Despite the obvious dangers, got home pretty much unscathed. Was a little stranded inside the car while waiting for the winds to die down a bit. Took the opportunity of waiting to charge my phone inside the car as well as tidy up what I have to quickly bring out and carry to the house.

The world that is the inside of my car can be so small when that's the only space you've got due to strong winds and rain. Was bored enough to realize that I got P353.00 in coins in my car. All that change from parking tickets.

Hope everybody I know is ok.

On the way home, I came across a lot of steel framed billboards fallen by the roadside. Some of these I later on found out has claimed the lives of some unfortunate souls who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Marikina which takes pride in being clean in green lost some of its green when the storm blew by.

Power outage has affected the whole of Luzon. My area was one of the more fortunate ones to have power restored earlier than some.

Filipinos have a way of getting back up on their feet quickly.

Here's something random... Meet Catherine Boyd. Where's Edward Walters you might say? Never really gotten around to getting him to keep Catherine company. Somehow I think my friend Salubri should consider getting one of these...

The day after...

Milenyo's aftermath. People picking themselves up, trying to live life normally at the soonest possible time. The way to the office took a little longer. Lots of fallen trees, damaged signboards and the like blocking portions of the road. Here the site is ok, damage only minimal but we're on the alert for any incidental damage. Didnt want to look at the news. Newspapers tend to show statistics while I can sense the damage caused by just taking the drive to the office. This will take while, but I'm sure the Filipino people will endure.

Satellite photos courtesy of

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Something's Missing...

5 PM...

Been out all day. Never been this busy in quite a while. Can't afford to stay in one place for more than 10min. No rest for the good-looking... +P

Despite being on the move all day, I couldn't help but feel something was missing. Something's out of place. I know it's there and I can't seem to place it.

Took this timeout on the net. Could it be possible that I might stumble upon what's missing there? After a couple of minutes in cyberspace did I slowly realize...

It can't be.

Then I ask myself this one question. One question that I will answer when I am ready to answer it.

The journey to the unknown starts in taking this one brave step...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

2000 Posts And Then Some...

...And counting!

Just came across this just this morning! Thanks for the visits! Until the next thousand. +P

September 25, 2006...

Sixth match. Something I wasnt quite prepared for that evening. But, this Lion I was up against just had to play against me considering this schedule and since I've got nothing to lose anymore, I couldn't help but give in to his request.

Race to 5. Alternating breaks. I was first to break. Made some terrible ball preparations. He raced to three racks. Three racks against none. Sounds like a replay of my past matches. Told to myself, "time to be humbled is over...".

Sixth Match Final Score: Lion6 - 3, Upstart Cub - 5

Finally, a match chalked up in my favor. Five straight racks, two of them golden breaks. Moral victory right there. Hope my last match in the eliminations would favor me so that I can cap the elimination round with a win. :D


Monday, September 25, 2006

100 Things...

Inspired by Aperire's 100things, here's my take.

1. I love the smell of coffee in the morning. Though I’m more of a hot chocolate person if ever I’m asked.
2. The year is moving faster now, faster than how last year came and went.
3. You’d know if I liked a movie if in a couple of weeks I can recite lines from the script in verbatim.
4. I learned to buff my nails to smoothen the ridges out. I think every guy should.
5. I play billiards for the fun of it but aspire to be part of the National Team someday, if not in the next lifetime.
6. I secretly wish that some significant someone will stumble upon this and say, “Why did I ever treat this guy like dirt?”
7. I still consider myself lucky.
8. I tend to sleep late.
9. My Sister Pie and Gorgeous Sister I love dearly. I see them as my best friends when I grow old.
10. I like independent label music. I’ve only scratched just the surface of it.
11. I’m a kilawing tanigue and kilawing talaba fan. I often use that as a yardstick for any bar or restaurant that serves it.
12. I buy an album just for one song. It’s gratifying when I later find the other songs equally satisfying.
13. I wear a silver ring with a small silver braid hammered in. It’s a continuous band yet it doesn’t go around my finger. Have fun figuring that out.
14. I once dreamt of Tina Arena singing to me If I Was A River, while holding me tight overlooking the ocean with the wind gently blowing in our faces...
15. I wanna try my hand at fishing with my Dad. If I can only get some decent fishing rods...
16. The construction industry to which I am part of is a very small one. My every move can very well determine my future in this small circle.
17. I plan to play the piano again. Soon.
18. I wish I pursued learning to play the violin or guitar at an earlier age.
19. I wanna make a collage of all the collected sunsets I can take. That might turn out nice.
20. I enjoy getting up from bed slowly, especially on Sundays. Deadlines can always wait a couple of minutes.
21. The number 21 has become a favorite number of mine. That’s the lucky 7 three times over. That’s the end number of my monicker.
22. I don’t paint on canvass, but on miniature soldiers instead. It’s not much but I’m happy and proud of it.
23. The rainy season and my job compels me to bring a suitcase in my car in the event I needed to stay over and spend the night in the office instead of getting stranded on the way home.
24. I miss my bed easily.
25. Subtitles on dvd movies are cool. As long as it’s accurate, which is not cool if it’s not.
26. Tragedy is an event worthy of words. Putting words to describe simple joys are harder to be given the justice it deserves.
27. I don’t give up on friends, even on those who have given up on me.
28. I set a minimum of one random act of kindness a day. It would make me rich someday. ;)
29. Someone made me realize that staring into the ceiling for a couple of minutes would do me some good. Have to find time for that.
30. I love my Darling Beautiful Mother.
31. Never got to appreciate poetry. Must be because I’ve never really gotten around into writing any. I know I’m missing out a lot.
32. I wrecked a car once on the way home from work. Changed my life since then.
33. I like my bourbon on the rocks. And it’s not scotch. +P
34. I wanna get myself a good digicam to make snapshots of anything that I see that's worth taking.
35. I’m not as adventurous when it comes to food compared to, say, music for example. My stomach rarely goes for jazzy or heavy metal/punk rock cuisine. =P
36. The buzzing mosquito ringtone has its short-lived appeal which degenerates to outright irritation. Too bad my phone can’t download it. Lolz.
37. Im a tifosi. Go Ferrari! Schumi rocks!
38. I go to the local Starbucks to observe people go about their daily lives and write it down in one of their pamphlets for posterity.
39. I’m a casual drinker. I don’t knock myself out drunk. +P
40. Never learned how to ride a bike. My Dad getting a bump on the head last time he rode one was partly the reason for it.
41. I sometimes go through my phonebook and call somebody I haven’t talked to in a while, just to find out how they’re doing and that I miss them.
42. I once went to the top of the World Trade Center. But I haven’t the heart to visit Ground Zero.
43. Putting a kiss into words is not the same thing. Yet, it’s close enough. Mwah!
44. I’m a believer in making a wish on a fountain. Can’t remember how many wishes came true though. :D
45. To some, a picnic in the park might sound cliché. Not to me.
46. I’m a sucker for tragic sounding love songs. It would take a simple haunting melody to get me hooked.
47. I must’ve been a lone samurai warrior who wandered the earth in a previous life. Flashes of my exploits and unsung deeds recur in my dreams.
48. I prefer to earn a living here, instead of abroad.
49. I still play with toy soldiers, only the more “mature” version. Sometimes it’s hard to make people understand why me and my friends still play.
50. My version of retirement is opening up a bar, where I can have friends and total strangers come over anytime to play, have a drink, and enjoy music anytime I’d want. That’s a dream I haven’t really given much thought in terms of details at the moment.
51. Im not a regular adrenaline junkie. Dunno why I wanted to say that...
52. I love hashbrowns in the morning. =P
53. That elusive 9-ball break and run-out still proves elusive to me after close to six years of playing. I believe I’ll be able to do it in seven.
54. Taking long drives on highways makes me relax. City traffic doesn’t.
55. I’m not particularly good with names of people, especially if I haven’t seen them in a long time.
56. I love going on a laugh trip with the boyz. Keeps me sane.
57. Wish I can watch more movies on the big screen.
58. I’ve done my fair share of crazy things for the attentions of the fairer sex.
59. I still learn from the people who work under me.
60. Once I left my heart somewhere between New Jersey and Upstate New York in 1994. But nothing grounds me more than now, here in Manila.
61. A quiet corner in a bistro suits me more. I think I’ve outgrown the noisy and loud. But I would still go at it from time to time to keep life interesting…
62. I miss my grandparents. I feel a little bad they won’t be able to see their great grandchildren.
63. I learned not to look aggressively for love. It has its funny way of finding you at an awkward time and place.
64. I sent a girl flowers for no occasion whatsoever. I guess it’s the fact that she least expected it that made me do it. ;)
65. I’m never bored of watching The Lord Of The Rings, especially the uncut extended version that takes most of the day to watch.
66. Ghost In The Shell rocks! So does Samurai Seven!
67. I answer crossword puzzles with a pen. Somehow using a pencil isn’t as challenging...
68. Pam is probably the best teddy bear in the whole wide world. I said that coz she made me say it. +P
69. I have a weakness for talbos ng kamote. Just add a little bagoong, vinegar and tomatoes and I’m happy.
70. I’ve read people their fortunes using playing cards for fun. I stare at the cards and the cards stare at me back with a story to tell...
71. I’ve never given anybody the bullshit treatment. Unless they deserved it of course.
72. I rode a suspended rollercoaster barefoot once. It’s a surreal feeling pulling 2G’s with your toes almost touching the tops of trees as they whiz by...
73. I also tried out a flight simulator. That was the closest thing I ever got to what breaking the sound barrier felt like. Lolz.
74. I can project a deep voice which is deceivingly big for my height. People find it amusing watching tall cadets being commanded by a guy only chest high on the CMT parade grounds...
75. Watching movies with a good crowd helps. Makes me laugh louder and cry shamelessly.
76. A walk in the park helps calm my nerves. Good thing my office has one nearby.
77. Full moons and sunsets...
78. I personally believe in being the master of my own destiny.
79. Dark Elves, Dark Eldar, Emperor’s Children and The Protectorate of Menoth...
80. I don’t mind giving damsels in distress a ride home. They’re always “on the way home” I usually say. +P
81. Tostitos chips and salsa. Yum. +P
82. I still haven’t figured out the fun in golf… yet I aspire to play it.
83. Cheesiest line a girl ever told me: “Are you diabetic? You’re so sweet kasi e.” Lolz.
84. I wanna try archery or swordplay. But walking the streets dressed like Aragorn might not be a welcome sight to some. +P
85. I love sports cars. But the floods and humps here make it impractical to drive one.
86. I need a haircut... again.
87. I’ve been able to help build a number of high-rise buildings in my career and I’m still afraid of heights. Thoughts of self-preservation is a good thing. ;)
88. Indoor wall climbing sounds like fun.
89. I’m squeamish at the first sight of blood. Even a paper cut gives me the creeps.
90. Love bites. Reality bites harder.
91. I treat everything as an important lesson in life.
92. I still swim the shallow end of the pool. :D
93. I dig anything with an acoustic version. Everything in life should have one.
94. Wish I had a punching bag next to my desk...
95. Wish puppies can stay puppies forever. But who am I kidding? :D
96. Would like to take up jogging again. That is, if I can wake up early.
97. I put french-fries in my burger as part of the sandwich. Some find that weird.
98. The books I read are mostly in the fantasy genre. I’m a sucker for anything on swords and sorcery.
99. I always wondered what it would be like to have a vineyard for a backyard and wine cellar for my basement.
100. In order for a man to feel whole, he needs someone to look up to and that same someone to look up to him. This might be the phrase where Tom Cruise got his “you complete me” line in Jerry Mcguire. :D

Time for you to share your 100 Things the same way my friends have.

Aperire's 100Things
Shink1m's 100Things
Big Hamster's 100Things
Katia's 100Things

Sunday, September 24, 2006

My Workbench - 4th Session...

What a time to misplace my jewel files, just when I got myself into a build mood. Think I left it in the office, though I'm trying to remember which one...

I'm sure it's there somewhere.

Despite the loss in momentum, I tried to make do with an Exacto knife and steel brush in flash removal and cleaning of some metal bitz I intend to use on a few figs I'm slowly building. I'm taking my time on this one, and the other parts I'll need will have to wait. I could use the lull to work on the army composition as well as to finally map out the poses and color scheme for them. Not much in terms of pictures just yet, since everything's just parts, bits and pieces. Gives added satisfaction at the prospect of getting into this project by collecting the bits and pieces that you need in a slow and liesurely pace, even through trading second hand bitz to give new life to it once you're done with it. Will make an update maybe on the first set of assemblies...

Great. Even my glue dried up on me. Doh!

But until then, maybe the best course of action for the moment is to take an afternoon nap or something before I move on to the next step of this project... +P


Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Cub Put In Its Place...

September 22, 2006...

Fourth Match Final Score : Lion4 - 5, Upstart Cub - 4
Fifth Match Final Score : Lion5 - 5, Upstart Cub - 3

My last two games I would consider my worst games yet in the tournament. I had every opportunity to snatch victory in the early goings, only to be denied yet again by nerves and bad luck. I've seen them play before and I know I can take them on. Only the outcome has not been in my favor. These two losses have dealt a big blow to my confidence in the competitive scene as well as teach me a lesson in humility. With that, I'm practically out of the running in advancing to the next round. My last two games will just be non-bearing ones, so its just for fun as well as racking up experience for the next tourney.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

In Need Of A Break...

Been on the road practically the whole day, one way or another. A quick check on one project, a quick drive to another...

Lunch was a welcome respite. Since my office is just one floor above where I compete, me and a few officemates decided on an early lunch and play a couple of racks on what's left of the lunch hour. It was fun considering my officemates have shown considerable skill since their college days, as claimed by them. We actually tried to keep score so that I can get to practice playing competively. The final score:

Officemates 3 - Yours Truly 9

Not bad.

Then it was off to site inspections for another project I'm working on. Three different locations spread across the metro in under 5 hours. At least I'm not driving. But it was tiring trip, both physically and mentally.

Got back at the office late. Things to do tomorrow starting to creep in. But the heavy rains are keeping me from getting to my car to get back to the other jobsite. Aaarrrggghhh!

Spent some time at the billiard table against some of the Lions while I waited for the rains to subside. No tournament schedule today. Just "fun" games. Even the Lions' wives and girlfriends proved to be tough to beat (they should be, considering they've been playing here practically every night). Kept score without them noticing. No-bearing score:

Lions/Lionesses 7 - Upstart Cub 11

Drove on to the jobsite where I'm planning to sleep over since I'm working late. Weekday Warrior boyz came over to play but I can only watch, go to the computer to work on deadline, watch and back... Ironically, I'm getting more work done while I allowed myself this small distraction.

Some sleep is in order. Deadline will be reduced to nothing if I'm a zombie in the morning. Just a couple of hours and I'll be fine... ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Attempting To Make Up On A Promise...

I promised somebody I'd be posting my 100 things by today. But I'm somewhat pressed for time to set things up and post it as committed. I do have a few minutes however to post the lyrics to this song that's been playing in my head on the way to work. I did remember telling her once that there is always a song that can define someone, sometime. Hope this will do for now.

by Vienna Teng

we're here where the daylight begins
the fog on the streetlight slowly thins
water on water's the way
the safety of shoreline fading away

sail your sea
meet your storm
all I want is to be your harbor
the light in me
will guide you home
all I want is to be your harbor

fear is the brightest of signs
the shape of the boundary you leave behind
so sing all your questions to sleep
the answers are out there in the drowning deep

you've got a journey to make
there's your horizon to chase
so go far beyond where we stand
no matter the distance
I'm holding your hand

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Something A Friend Showed Me...

My friend showed me this to serve as some form of inspiration for my next match...

Looks like I'll need a couple of pool tables and a LOT of dominoes to do this... But thanks anyway Dude! Will try to have fun on this next one...


Third Match Final Score : Lion3 - 5, Upstart Cub - 4

Finally able to string up some racks in succession and force a deciding game, however, luck favored my opponent more than me that night. Now I'm in a situation where I have to win my remaining 4 matches to have any hopes of advancing to the next round. Don't get me wrong, but it sounds like fun!

More updates as the tourney progresses...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Surreal Sunday...

I had nothing mapped out really, just went with the flow...

My car's odometer reached 200,000 kilometers in a little over 12 years. Where'd I make this milestone? Just under the welcome arch of Goodrich Village, while I was on my way to drive my Gorgeous Sister to do her homework at my Sister Pie's house.

Shortly after, I went to Makati Med to visit Janine, who was confined last night for eating something that her stomach did not quite agree to. Get well soon girl.

Later on, watched Michael Schumacher win the Italian Grand Prix. After winning his 90th career win, he then announced his plans to retire at the end of this year's Grand Prix season. It will take a while before anybody can top what he's accomplished.

In a couple of minutes, it will be the fifth(?) anniversary of 9/11. It had a profound effect on me when I saw those planes collide the towers and eventually saw them fall...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Not A Good Start Against The Lions...

Played two matches last night. Lots of shots didn't go my way. Lots of unforced errors on my part. I couldn't get to string up the racks in succession. A case of nerves did me in. My scores against the top 2 players in my group are a far cry from what I believe I can make...

First Match Final Score: Lion1 - 5, Upstart Cub - 1
Second Match Final Score: Lion2 - 5, Upstart Cub - 2

Despite the embarrassing scores I wouldn't say it was a TOTAL loss. The experience gained after that match-up will prove invaluable in the later rounds. The five racks lost on both matches were not given up without a fight. And despite the losses, I still see a positive side to it. I think I gave them enough of a scare to bring their A-game early. I was the only one smiling after the match, with my opponents breathing sighs of relief. Lolz.

Time to get some practice hours in before my next match next week...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Odds and Ends...

Reflecting on some stuff at the office...

I kinda remember hearing that there's always a villain in any movie. Same goes in my line of work. I just had this meeting with this villain of a contractor who looks suspicious in dropping a bomb in front of top management to embarrass me and the rest of the project team. For the first time in quite a while, I never felt so irritated by this guy's nerve. I wasn't going to take this lying down. So earlier this week, I did well in defending myself on my recommendations and actions taken when it came to this particular contractor. End result, looks like he wont be working on the projects I'm working on for quite some time after this. I find it sad that it had to come to this point that like in the movies, protagonists must come face to face and one must be left standing.

The Original Four at Quattro Part 2...

An impromptu reunion by the Senator, the Congressman, the Professor and the Director over at Quattro in Timog was set after freaky downpour last night. Freaky downpour coming in regular intervals lately. What a way to start September. Updated each other on what's happened and Im a bit surprised on how much color we've added to our own lives.

On Tostitos and Salsa...

Decided to indulge a little after the past few months of trying to make ends meet. Bought a bag of Tostitos chips and salsa on the way home. Chatted with Kim late at night on small stuff, mostly about wargaming. Couldn't sleep so I'm thinking of how to pass the time.

My First Test Against the Lions...

In less than 24 hours, I will be playing my first round match against someone who's rumored to be last year's defending champion at billiards. Pre-tourney insomnia's starting to kick in.

Must get some sleep. Tomorrow's shaping up to be an interesting day...

Monday, September 04, 2006

How Music Videos Have Defined Us...

From the genuine tear jerker...

To the senselessly wacky...

Dunno If This Is A Proud Achievement But...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Like A Cub Among Lions...

August 31, 2006...

Was able to get out of the office relatively early today. Just before stepping out of the new office, one of the waiters asked me if I was interested in playing billiards against some of the local patrons. You see, the office to which I transferred had a function room at the ground floor which had a billiard table and bar. I gave it some thought and quickly said to myself, why not?

The local patrons who I see play regularly here are actually some of the major figures in the Philippine construction industry. There are big name architects, contractors, engineers and even developers which you hear only in side discussions or come across only paper in my line of work. Suddenly felt like a cub among a pride of lions... I only play a small role in the construction industry compared to these people. Don't get me wrong, these lions may be old, but they still got teeth! They all took turns playing against me, obviously gauging my strengths and weaknesses on the billiard table. And their billiard game is at a very good level of competitive play, a level which I'm comfortable in matching. I had a feeling they would provide some stiff competition too, since I do see them practically every night running the racks on my way home.

In the end, I was extended an invitation to their annual billiard competition against the upper group. Baptism of fire right there on the spot. Come Monday, the cub will go up against the lions once again...

Later that night, I was interviewed along with some friends on a radio program called Heard on Thursdays. We talked about our hobby tabletop miniature wargaming. It was an interesting experience to say the least, since we were able to tell a lot of listeners about the hobby and the fun we get out of it. I even got to see DJ's Francesca and Danielle. Coolness! :D