Archive for  November 2008

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Coffee Break 1.46

In this day and age when life runs so fast, the day ends with you de-humanized.  You lose the awe of encountering  ordinary wonderful things around you. The worries of life fill your mind. How do I pay my bills? When do I get a raise? Do I need to order Phentermine or enroll in a gym? We need to muster a conscious effort to stop and muse at what surrounds us? We need to allow joy to well up and make us smile.

God encounters…a special time with Tes…Goofing with my son or daughter…  Glancing through special memories in albums and scrapbooks…  Reading journal entries and love letters…Watching inspiring movies…Looking at wonderful things in nature…These are the flood gates that let my joy well up.  Memories like these are stuff life is made of.

I’m back doing Pilates regularly.  I do this everyday as much as possible. The routine takes about 20 mins.  You do have to do it properly for it to work. While Pilates has fewer repetitions, the movements are much more difficult compared to Military Calisthenics. They also give greater control.  Doing  “teasers” and “the stomach series”  many times a day would probably be like Ephedrasil hardcore.  “Pilates Pushups” not only give you fast twitch development but also  control and stability given by the pauses every four counts.  Finally, the real success of the method, is the development of proper breathing technique during activities. This leads to better metabolism needed to keep one fit.

With Teys working on a special edition of the The Daily Scrapper, I am once again left to keep shop.   I am now  in work- from- bed mood, particular at the end of a very long day. Thank God for our wireless router. Today I met with a potential client. We discussed energy efficiency, renewable energy and the clean development mechanism.  As this client was a manufacturer, I am very thankful for my long experience in manufacturing operations.  What differentiates me from other energy consultants would be my manufacturing experience and physics education. Is this really an edge? The manufacturing experience gained at Intel and Sunpower, provides me with world class, cutting edge operational systems  I can transfer.  The physics education, allows me to sift through data and work on the problems that really matter. With competition tightening in most industries, successful firms have to leverage on sound science and robust systems to stay  in good shape. I have the best of both worlds.

This coming season, everyone frantically goes about shopping for gifts. The beneficiaries would be the usual “suspects” of parents,brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, friends and godchildren.  That’s life  the Philippines, where you get the true meaning of “extended” family.  Considering the number of  people in our gift list, what should we consider in purchasing our gifts?  Two things we should give them: 1.) Memories or 2.) Utility.

Deciding which one to give comes with how you know the person you intend to give to. Memory gifts are items that will given them an experience they will remember for years to come. A toy, a trip to Manila Ocean park are good examples of these. Ideally, these should build a person up and prepare him/her to fulfill her purpose in life. When I gave my son a robot arm kit for this birthday, it was an experience he could never forget.  It also builds on his desire to build and create things.

Utility gifts are items you give to fulfill a need such as a wheel chair, money to pay off debt , rice, clothes ,etc.  If the gift is for a poor relative, a friend who is in personal loss, or someone sick,  utility gifts are the best items to give.

It really boils down to what the intent of your giving is?  Is it about meeting obligations or really loving the person and wanting him/her experience God’s love in practical ways.  The guide would be the giving of His Son to save all of us.  Ask yourself, “What will be the impact of my gift in the person’s 10 years from now?” That should be the acid test of your giving.

I recently realized that I am overweight.  I went to Mercury drug last night and found that my fat index was 30%. This is  way above the normal range of 17-23%.  For some people the first instinct would be to look for the best diet pills.  For others it would be to go on a crash diet program or skipping meals.  In my case, I asked myself two things: 1.) Am I eating the right amount of food? and 2.) Am I getting enough exercise.  I do know that for a month now, I have been eating a lot of food partly because of the late night blogs that I do.  I also know that  I don’t get much exercise because I work from home most of the time.  For me, the solution has to be long term.  This means I have to go back to the basic disciplines of food intake and exercise. I’ll also need  go back to fasting as well.

My friend’s son will be competing in Hongkong early next year.  They are quite excited because it will also be part of their many Disney vacations in the future.  But prior to the Hong Kong competition are several local swim meets that will prepare them for the Big tournament.  I really wish we could tag along!  Unfortunately, the only swimming opportunity that will allow my kids to experience open water again is when we go home to Davao this Christmas.  I hope the weather will be cooperative.  Meanwhile, Mickey Mouse will have to congratulate my friend’s son.

I’m in Iloilo again as Tes continues to work on her projects.  This trip one of a series to develop a regional energy plan in this part of the Philippines.   Tonight I am staying at the Gonzaga Mansion.  Its not like those las vegas hotels,  its a home operated as a hotel right inside the CPU campus. My room is huge with a high ceiling, typical of ancestral homes in Iloilo.  The bed  and toilet fixtures are new.  Except of some wall and cabinet panels that need replacement, the room is fine.   For a rate of P1500 a night, it is probably the most convenient lodging for doing work at the University.  CPU also has the Roselund units with are little houses for rent priced similarly.   These are open to the public and subject to 20% discount to guests of the University.

Our son one of the many kids honored today during the Advanced Student Honor Roll recognition ceremony of Kumon, at the SMX convention center.   It was a very hectic day for us.  Our children were still coughing.  In the end, Teys had to stay with our daughter while I had to go to the ceremony.  We had to pass by the barber, so DS wouldn’t look goofy wearing his barong. Rushing to venue while eating our Jollibee lunch made him car sick.  Upon getting there, we dash to the top floor only to go back to the ground floor for registration. ( In hindsight, it was just OK because this process made sure we had promotional items.  ) We then had his picture taken and after a few minutes proceeded to the hall.  After more than hour my son finally walks up to the stage to congratulate the President of Kumon Philippines.  More pictures then we leave to have dinner at Teriyaki Boy so he can eat his favorite Sukiyaki Beef Teriyaki.   Upon reaching home, I feel my body aching all over!

Last weekend the family went shopping for clothes. Actually it was shopping for the kids’ clothes, in preparation for our son’s Kumon Advanced Student Recognition ceremony this Sunday. Teys and I divided the work, I bought stuff for our son while she worked with our daughter. Having completed our task early, my son and I head for the toy section.  We found cool toys: new RC’s,Tranformers, etc.  In my mind, however, I couldn’t help question the value of these toys a few years from now. My thoughts were in going through wholesale electronics to find a toy kit we could assemble as a family.

For his birthday, we bought our son a robot arm kit.  I assembled it together with him and his sister.  The sense of fulfillment was clearly evident in his behaviour as he started to play with it.  I guess nothing can replace the joy of enjoying the rewards of your labor.