Archive for  October 2009

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Have you seen GMA 7’s latest videoke singing game show? If you haven’t then you should! Of course, I am biased because one of the band members is Michael Gemina! I’ve seen him when he was still a little boy and now he’s all grown up (nope, I don’t recall him having any acne treatment) and making a name for himself and doing what he loves to do most. Play music!

It was just a few months ago when we were believing God to send Michael to Berklee. Now, God has opened up doors for him in the music industry. I know that God will do wonderful things for him in the coming days and his future is definitely bright. Not only is he an excellent musician, he also has a good head on his shoulders and more importantly, a heart that wants to honor God. Bravo, Michael! More! More!

Here’s how the show went :

watch?v=uYm8yQaOhU4

It’s been quite busy in our little world lately I can hardly keep up with life. I realized just today that this week was already Halloween week! I thought it was still next week but oh well, the kids are done with their costume party anyway. LOL They had it last Sunday and the husband let out all his competitive juices and came up with his version of King Edmund of Narnia complete with the lion crest, swords and a banner for ds (with a little help from the crafty mom of course… wink! wink!) and Captain Elizabeth Swann, Pirate Captain of the Pirate Lords for dd.  Guess what, the kids won! Hah! DS was a little late and so when he went inside the kids’ church room all eyes turned to him and according to the kids’ church teacher – his costume was just a different standard. DD on the other hand was a savvy pirate captain complete with her Chinese cheongsam, pirate eye patch, bandanna and giant hoop earring. Of course, we can’t forget the axe, the sword and the dagger too. They were so excited that they won. And so were we.

Later on that night we waited for GMA’s newest sing-along show to come on. It was the launching of their newest show BANDAOKE! featuring my kids’ all-time favorite drummer (mine too :P), fresh from his Berklee stint, MICHAEL GEMINA!!!! The musicians were great! Although we had to do a lot of explaining to the kids about the lyrics of some of the songs. It’s a bit like doing a colon cleanse on them where we had to make sure that what they take in doesn’t cause any internal trouble later on. Huh? What was I saying? In short, they’re still too young! LOL

Don’t forget to check out the hottest band to hit TV land – the Bandaoke band! Catch them every Sunday night right after Mel and Joey. Go Michael Go!

Later!

It’s been a long day and it still hasn’t ended. I started out the day picking up where I left off from yesterday’s laundry. Then in between loading the wash, hanging the clothes and taking down the ones that were dry (wash and fold, dearie –  yup, no need for a steam cleaner for pajamas and house clothes, I can live with the wrinkles), cooking lunch and attempting to homeschool, I check my email and other online stuff. I feel like the energizer bunny on overdrive! What’s more… it’s past midnight and I’m still not done! I have online stuff to finish and a webinar till 4 am. I need a block of CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!! aaaargh!

We took our kids to CCP today to watch Philippine Ballet Theater’s adaptation of La Fille Mal Gardeé and of course because we wanted to support Acts Manila (Teacher Chelo B. Gemina’s ballet company). We also brought with us 3 of the husband’s ballet students and crammed all of them in our car. Imagine 5 kids all talking at the same time at the top of their lungs non-stop! Teriblé! But it was still worth it. It turned out to be like a mini field trip for two of them because it was their first time to watch a performance in CCP. I’m glad they enjoyed the show and that they weren’t bored with it. I think it’s rare to find kids nowadays who appreciate theatre performances. What with psp’s, xbox’s, wii’s and video games, not to mention pre-occupation with teen stuff online chatter on friendster and multiply, instant acne treatments and remedies for those unwanted zits that pop up during the most-awaited gimik day, fashionista talk – how many have time to sit down for two hours and watch a classical ballet performance? Sadly, not too many. That’s why even if we were squished like sardines in our car and even if the noise level was beyond the allowable decibels the human ear can handle, it was still worth all the effort because I know that the children left the theatre inspired and challenged.

Yes, I do have a hangover but I think it’s not a bad one. I’ve been looking around for some outdoor furniture and I decided to google around for some eco-friendly designs. I’m more of the modern, clean, minimalist type. I found this one online and I like the clean, simple look of this teak bench. I love how they preserved the natural grain of the wood on the planks. It still looks like one piece with slats in between. Just gorgeous! I just noted that they said it was eco-friendly so that’s a good thing.  Ok, into my inspiration folder it goes!

I just finished printing my handouts for an informal blogging seminar tomorrow. Nothing fancy or pro, mind you. Just a handful of close friends who want to learn about how to get started on blogging. I don’t consider myself a good speaker so I hope that they can find something useful with whatever I’ll be sharing tomorrow. Well, they are close friends so I think they can overlook any faux pas just in case. Which reminds me, one of those attending is into insurance. I think I can give him a few health insurance leads just in case I don’t pass my first foray in giving seminars. At least he can give me an A for ey-ffort! hahaha

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!

One of the consequences of the heavy flooding that what we’ve experienced lately is the high probability of contamination of our water supply. Homes that have been totally submerged in flood waters means that water from bathrooms, toilets and sewage systems have become part of the flood waters and might have contaminated our drinking water making it unsafe for human consumption.  So what do we do? Here are some tips that you can do to disinfect drinking water (courtesy of the US Environmental Protection Agency):

Important : ONLY USE WATER THAT HAS BEEN PROPERLY DISINFECTED FOR DRINKING, COOKING, MAKING ANY PREPARED DRINK, OR FOR BRUSHING TEETH

  1. Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
  2. If you don’t have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers. You can also purchase water filters or make one yourself using a clean sock stuffed with charcoal and tie it with an elastic to filter water from your faucet.
  3. If you can’t boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
  4. If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or provincial health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Things to remember:

  1. Filter murky or colored water through clean cloths or allow it to settle. It is better to both settle and filter.
  2. Boiling is the surest method to make water safe to drink and kill disease-causing microorganisms like Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium, which are frequently found in rivers and lakes.
  3. To improve the flat taste of boiled water, aerate it by pouring it back and forth from one container to another and allow it to stand for a few hours, or add a pinch of salt for each quart or liter of water boiled.
  4. When boiling is not practical, certain chemicals will kill most harmful or disease-causing organisms. Chlorine (in the form of unscented bleach) and iodine are the two chemicals commonly used to treat water.
  5. You can use a non-scented, household chlorine bleach that contains a chlorine compound to disinfect water. (Remember, 1/8 teaspoon and 8 drops are about the same quantity.)
  6. You can use tincture of iodine to disinfect filtered and settled water. Common household iodine from the medicine chest or first aid kit may be used to disinfect water.
  7. Tincture of iodine. For cloudy water add ten drops and let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.

With another storm approaching our country, I hope you can use this information to be better prepared in case another flooding happens. Stay safe, folks!

It’s true. I have found the one night cream that works for me. Yes, it is Olay – Olay Regenerist and NO, I am not a paid endorser. I wish I was. LOL I’m not into make up that much but I do want to have clear, clean skin.  I have tried a lot of night creams out there and it does get tiring to be using so many products to address different needs. Right now, I’m a happy camper with this one. My sister gave this as a present when she came home last year and I was just happy to receive something from her. I didn’t use the product immediately because I don’t religiously put night creams on plus I didn’t want to use it all up because the next supply would come the next time she comes home again. I finally found out how good it was when I finally found a good enough reason to use it.  I was supposed to attend an event and I had to, at least,  not look like a raccoon because of the dark circles around my eyes that comes from sleeping late. I had to do something fast.  And so I used it and I was actually quite surprised and happy with it.  The cream didn’t feel heavy on my skin, it didn’t feel like it was clogging my pores, it was easily absorbed and wasn’t like grease sitting there. I had only like a few hours of sleep and yet it didn’t show. I was hooked! So now, I obligated my sister to be my lifetime supplier of Olay.  Forever! hahaha

As a nation we are still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) and Typhoon Pepeng that have struck our country one after the other. The devastation to life and property has reached billions. Whole families have been lost, the damage to infrastructure, homes and businesses is disheartening, our rice lands have been turned into  rushing rivers wiping out what was to be harvested. The amount of rainfall that these two typhoons have poured upon this nation has devastated and displaced thousands of families. And the problems continue to compound.  Although we are a resilient people, questions as to the cause of this tragedy have yet to be answered. We need to be informed of the WHYs so that we can move on to the WHAT do we do to prevent this from happening again. Typhoons have always been a part of our lives. They do not surprise us at all. However, the magnitude of the destruction that we have experienced totally came from left field. Should we brace ourselves for more severe typhoons because the effects of Climate Change have finally caught up with us?

(image courtesy of boston.com)

IMHO, even if we do attribute it to Climate Change, climate change is still caused by men. Men who run corporations. Men who destroy habitats and abuse and misuse our environment. Men who make decisions that may be economically profitable but environmentally harmful. We need to rethink the way we do things today. We need to take action now. Many of us who are fortunate to have survived the disasters that have fallen upon our countrymen might not be spared the next time around. Businesses need to be more responsible and be involved in reducing their carbon footprint. Am not so sure about call center outsourcing, but buying local, manufacturing more earth-friendly products, green architecture, alternative energy sources, recycling and reusing, sustainable lifestyles – we need a paradigm shift in how we conduct our lives. We need to do something now… for the sake of the next generation and generations after that.

Yes, I do! I was hoping for a chance to go in case I won the Krispy Kreme Fan Fave promo but unfortunately, I didn’t make it. Oh well, maybe North Carolina isn’t meant for me right now so I’ve set my sights elsewhere. I’ve been thinking of Florida and I’m thinking of a pensacola beach condo right now. It would be nice to get away from the routine and drudgery of the daily grind, don’t you think? Kick off my shoes, walk in the sand and just sit back and watch the waves with a nice cool drink in my hand. That would really be nice….

I am not a movie fanatic but once in a while, an interesting story can catch my attention and make me stay on a channel longer than usual. I chanced upon the movie “Awake” starring Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker) and Jessica Alba one time and I was intrigued. It tells the story of a man who remains awake during his own heart surgery and how he discovers that it was all along a plot by Jessica Alba and the doctors to kill him to get his money. There was a time when I avoided shows or movies that had hospital scenes in them especially when there were cardiac arrest scenes and they had to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) to revive the person…painful memories associated with those kinds of scenes.

Going back to the movie, I started it midway so I didn’t know that there would be a scene like that. I just kept on watching because I was curious to see how the story would go. In the movie, Hayden was under sedation because he was about to have a heart transplant. While he was in that state, he had something like an out-of-body experience and it was during this time that he found out everything that was being done to him and how his girlfriend and the doctors were going to kill him. For those who haven’t seen the movie or if I’ve piqued your curiosity, I won’t tell you how it ends. You can probably grab a copy at your neighborhood movie rental shop and watch it over the weekend.

Really, I am just curious. Well, while my file is taking forever to upload I’ve decided to read a little bit of news online. I’m gonna play a little pin the donkey game and pick a state to see what’s making headlines right now. Let’s see. Spin around and pin it on…. TENNESSEE!

Okay here’s one I found:

Man In Critical Condition After Being Shot Twice Overnight

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A man was recovering at a local hospital after being shot in East Nashville overnight.

Police said little before midnight a male victim was walking along South 8th Court near the James Cayce Homes when a male dressed in all black came up to him and shot him twice. The victim was shot once in the stomach and once in the leg.

Emergency officials transported the victim to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition.

The identity of the victim has not been released.

Police have not made any arrests, and Tuesday morning they continued to investigate.

How horrible. I hope they catch the perpetrator and the victim recovers fast. The victim and his family would probably need really good Tennessee injury lawyers to help them out.

My file is only approx. 15% finished…. argh. More reading to do…

… and so it did. Typhoon “Pepeng” did move by the grace of God and I’m sure because a lot of people from all walks of life prayed and asked God to spare those who have suffered from Typhoon “Ondoy” another onslaught. I’m sure there were lots of people who fasted as well. (Yes, Virginia… Fastin‘ does wonders.) Of course, although Metro Manila and the nearby provinces were spared, those in Northern Luzon still got hit. The biggest lesson they learned was disaster preparedness. IMHO, it made a world of difference to those in the North. Gleaning from what happened in NCR, the local government units were ready for Typhoon “Pepeng” and their constituents, thankfully, were cooperative as well.

But are we really prepared for disasters on a massive scale? The pitiful number of rubber boats and emergency equipment and vehicles pro rata to the population of this country makes me wonder what the politicians do with their pork barrel. Typhoons will always be part of our landscape and they are inevitable. Think of how many rubber boats, amphibian vehicles etc. etc. that could have been bought with the money spent by our politicians on that elaborate dinner in New York! Disgusting! Perhaps it’s time to pray and then say to these disasters called politicians-“MOVE!” so that they would disappear?  Hmmm, I wonder…

I missed watching UZ last night. Tsk, tsk… I completely forgot. I like watching that show because I learn a lot about home designing and I get to see a lot of very talented Pinoy architects and designers. One particular episode that I’d like to see again was the one featuring an eco-friendly house somewhere in Antipolo. I’m not quite sure about the details of the show and I even forgot who the lady architect was but of course I remembered the house. It was a modern house, clean, minimalist, maximum use of natural light (although I think there was a lighting fixture there that was interesting…), well placed ventilation systems…very well thought of. Pinag-isipan, in short. Everything in its place and a place for everything. Even the back of the refrigerator was put to good use by placing a closet behind it to dry umbrellas etc. – captured energy indeed. I’m still a long way from my ideal home but it’s nice to see that it already exists here in the Philippines.

Because of the recent floods that has hit our country, I became curious as to what would happen to the hundreds of vehicles that were submerged in the flood waters. It didn’t matter if it was a rickety old thing or one of those flashy truck accessories loaded sports vehicles. I was talking to a friend earlier and they almost didn’t get home that fateful Saturday when Ondoy struck. Thank God their car didn’t stall and they got through the floods and arrived at their home safely. For those who are not as fortunate, here’s a checklist to go through to check your vehicle (courtesy of autobodyonline.com). Hope this helps:

Flood Damaged Vehicles Repair Checklist

  1. Check Dipstick For Water
  2. High oil levels on the dipstick and water bubbles in engine oil, or if red atf fluid turns pink, water has entered the system.
  3. Pull Passenger’s Floor and Trunk Plugs if so equipped. Wash all mud and silt out of passenger and trunk compartment.
  4. Remove Carpets, Seats and Interior Trim Panels and dry them or replace them. (Foam types usually don’t dry.) (Drying can be done by using your heated spray booth for one or two nights.)
  5. Remove Spare Wheel jack and handle, clean it; use WD-40 on screws holding it.
  6. Remove Door Trim Panels and check window motors; use WD-40 on them, grease regulator pivots and check door speakers!
  7. Grease Door Hinges.
  8. Check Battery & Terminals; clean terminals and grease them. Clean under the battery especially if its located in the trunk or under the seat.
  9. Look For Computers, Equalizers, Alarms (lo-jack) or other “black boxes” under seats.
  10. Check Airbag Sensors under seats and seat belt retractors, and dry them. When re-installing seats, grease tracks and use WD-40 on seat motors and the belt retractors.
  11. Clean Debris off Radiator, A/C condenser and Aux. Fan/Motor Assembly.
  12. Blow Out Starter Motor with air.
  13. Pull Plug in Differential and check for water.
  14. Check Muffler For Water.
  15. Re-Pack Wheel Bearings Grease suspension and steering when applicable.
  16. Shampoo Carpets, Seats and Interior.
  17. Re-Connect and Re-Set ABS and Main Computers. Run diagnostic on airbag computer.
  18. Re-Set Radio Codes.
  19. Detail Exterior and Engine Compartment.
  20. If The Car Has Been Kept Closed For Over A Day, spray all the metal panels and upholstery with Lysol to kill the bacteria and odor.
  • AIR BAG EQUIPPED VEHICLES
  • Volvo warns that if a car has been in a flood, an attempt to start it could inadvertently deploy the air bag. Other air bagged cars could also be affected. Check with the dealer.
  • FOR HIGHER WATER LEVELS
  • Change oil and filter, check relays and sensors. Pull spark plugs and crank engine; oil spark plug treads and cylinders prior to starting engine; check spark plug wires for arcing. Check power steering and brake fluids.