Thursday, November 30, 2006
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Despite the impending storm...

... I reported for my government consultancy today.

The difference is Bea and my mother tagged along so they could stroll around SM North as I did some paperwork. I think they enjoyed their "bonding" session and mom bought her some Christmas dresses already.

As for me, I was still working today (but why not since this is still a workday).

Anyway, there's a lull in work for one of the clients that was so active last week. And when they see their bill, thing will really slow down.

As regards the other one, well, there's no let up. Some more position papers and now a city council meeting next week. And now a storm's brewing and the controversies will once again surface, since I noticed that there is one radio/TV personality known for his "tenaciousness" (if you translate that in Filipino, you'll have a hint about his identity because that is his "signature" slogan) that never lets the day pass without saying something bad about my client.

Rumor has it that he has an agenda against my client, which I have been trying to figure out, as his statements clearly show this.

Is it because my client's sites are "unsightly" and "ugly"? Well, that reasoning will boomerang back at him because he's is not exactly pleasing to the eyes (read: he's butt-ugly) and yet his mug is plastered over a major national primetime news broadcast every weekday. His style of speaking is, at times (or maybe all the time), irritating and obnoxious, and yet you'll hear him every morning on his radio show. Aesthetics is still subjective and no person has any right to impose his own concept of beauty upon another. The last time I checked, this is still a free country.

If you ever figure out who I'm talking about, try validating this fact (that he speaks trash about my clients every single day). IMO, he's one of the persons that provide a reason for the distrust of mainstream media. Because clearly, he has his own agenda against my client.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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Associate days all over again...

Figured in a breakfast meeting with a member of Congress today, the topic of which I will not elaborate due to attorney-client privilege.

Anyway, he came from private law practice before he became a congressman and he still heads a big enough law office. As such, he still behaves like a managing partner.

And dealing with him today made me feel like his associate. As in, my days as a noob lawyer came flashing before my eyes.

Fortunately, I still gathered enough experience to hold my own during the discussions. By the time we had lunch, he treated me like a colleague already, because of my acquired legal expertise in my client's field.

But I had to hurry home because I had to finalize his revisions, and of course, I had to fetch Bea from school.

So now, I'm just resting. But I will blog about some brewing trouble in my practice, a potentially troublesome client in particular.

Later, my sister will treat us to a HUGE dinner because it's their 14th (?) wedding anniversary...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
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Taking a break...

Although I just finished filing a pleading for a client and there's still some stuff to do, I thought of taking a break.

Walked into a friend's blog, a guitarman I had to privilege to play with in a televised mass I was in a few years ago. From there, I stumble upon his YouTube videos of him playing.

In short, I'm featuring his videos one at a time, from time to time.

This first one you may be familiar with. I'll include the lyrics so you can sing along if you want.

Here goes...

by Bread
And Aubrey was her name,
A not so very ordinary girl or name.
But who's to blame?
For a love that wouldn't bloom
For the hearts that never played in tune.
Like a lovely melody that everyone can sing,
Take away the words that rhyme it doesnt mean a thing.

And Aubrey was her name.
We tripped the light and danced together to the moon,
But where was June.
No it never came around.
If it did it never made a sound,
Maybe I was absent or was listening to fast,
Catching all the words, but then the meaning going past,

But God I miss the girl,
And Id go a thousand times around the world just to be
Closer to her than to me.

And Aubrey was her name,
I never knew her, but I loved her just the same,
I loved her name.
Wish that I had found the way
And the reasons that would make her stay.
I have learned to lead a life apart from all the rest.
If I cant have the one I want, Ill do without the best.

But how I miss the girl
And Id go a million times around the world just to say
She had been mine for a day.

Finally, a lighter schedule

Finally, I'm back working at home and those meetings have ended.

But I still have some major pleadings to prepare for filing tomorrow.

But I do hope things will clear up because the holidays are approaching and I do take my rest time seriously. And I do hope all those hours I put in these past few days pay off handsomely.

Anyway, I'll rest for a little bit (just got back from taking Bea to school), check my email and it's the proverbial nose back to the grindstone. Well at least, I'll be doing it from home this time.

Catch you later.

Monday, November 27, 2006
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Just came home from a mini-reunion at the behest of our high school class president who was on furlough from Singapore.

It was a potluck thing. I brought the non-alcoholic drinks. My classmates brought the pizza, the fried chicken, the spaghetti (which we all loved) and the grilled chicken.

Though only a handful came, we had a good time reminiscing with my best friend the times that were. It was a welcome break for my friend, who is scheduled for his angioplasty on 29 November 2006, a day after her birthday.

We reminisced on our class president's quotable quotes like "Who do this?" or "One atoms..." and his unforgettable "Look, Mac!"

He just came up with another gem today, like time have not changed. Now, we'll never forget his precious "So you're married without a wife?..."


Sunday, November 26, 2006
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We're All in this Together

We're All in this Together

Together, together, together everyone
Together, together, come on lets have some fun
Together, were there for each other every time
Together together come on lets do this right

Here and now its time for celebration
I finally figured it out (yeah yeah)
That all our dreams have no limitations
That's what its all about

Everyone is special in their own way
We make each other strong (each other strong)
Were not the same
Were different in a good way
Together's where we belong

We're all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We're all stars
And we see that
We're all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come true

Together, together, together everyone
Together, together, come on lets have some fun
Together, were there for each other every time
Together together come on lets do this right

We're all here
and speaking out with one voice
we're going to rock the house (YEAH YEAH!)
the party's on now everybody make some noise
come on scream and shout

We've arrived becuase we stuck together
Champions one and all

We're all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We're all stars
And we see that
We're all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come

We're all in this together
When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it
We're all in this toghether
Once we see
Theres a chance
That we have
And we take it

Wild cats sing along
Yeah, you really got it goin' on
Wild cats in the house
Everybody say it now
Wild cats everywhere
Wave your hands up in the air
That's the way we do it
Lets get to it
Time to show the world

We're all in this together
Once we know
That we are
We're all stars
And we see that
We're all in this together
And it shows
When we stand
Hand in hand
Make our dreams come

We're all in this together
When we reach
We can fly
Know inside
We can make it
We're all in this together
Once we see
Theres a chance
That we have
And we take it

Wild cats everywhere
Wave your hands up in the air
That's the way we do it
Let's get to it
Come on everyone!

Saturday, November 25, 2006
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Still working...

Bea still has school, so I still woke up early today to take her there. And they have a small program over there so I have to scoot over there and watch.

I still had mounds of work to do so I have to dig in. It was still a full day yesterday, as in I was still out at around 8:00 p.m.

Which means I will give our small weekly "chamber session" a miss.

Then, my aunt is having a big bash at some fancy-schmancy hotel tonight so I'm also going to miss choir.

Add to that I'm driving all the way to Makati for that...

These are the times that I wish there we two of me...

Friday, November 24, 2006
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Fruits of Labor

If all goes well, there maybe something to celebrate about come holiday season.

I hope all my hard work and sacrifices (of not being there for my kids as much as I like) these past few months get handsomely rewarded. And I can finally start working on my wish list.

Hopefully, I may have enough money to max out Scarlett. It's another good investment since she has actually paid for herself about twice over (but then again, they're still receivables). Hopefully, I can upgrade her to a 120Gb hard drive (I will use the stock 60Gb as mobile storage) and 2 Gb of RAM, so I can run XP and Linux smoothly using Parallels.

I was actually thinking of upgrading to a MacBook Pro (I even thought of a new for it already, but I will not divulge it now), but I was thinking it was Scarlett that brought me all this work. And I believe if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Perhaps later when I really have money to burn.

And probably, I could finally work on the annulment already...

Wish me luck...

Thursday, November 23, 2006
This day in history from:

Finally found this quote...

I love this monologue. Guess where this is from?

That's all right, you can keep your seats. For the last couple of months, Senator Rumson has suggested that being president of this country was, to a certain extent, about character...

...and although I have not been willing to engage in his attacks on me, I've been here three years and three days, and I can tell without hesitation: Being President of this country is entirely about character.

For the record: Yes, I am a card-carrying member of the A.C.L.U. But the more important question is why aren't you, Bob? This is an organization whose sole purpose is to defend the Bill of Rights, so it naturally begs the questions.

Why would a senator, his party's mostpowerful spokesman and a candidate for president, choose to reject upholding the Constitution? If you can answer that question, then, folks, you're smarter than I am, because I didn't understand it until a couple of minutes ago. Everybody knows American isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship.

You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating, at the top of his lungs, that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free, then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest." Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free. I've known Bob Rumson for years. I've been operating under the assumption that the reason Bob devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn't get it. Well, I was wrong.

Bob's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Bob's problem is that he can't sell it. Nobody has ever won an election by talking about what I was just talking about.

This is a country made up of people with hard jobs that they're terrified of losing. The roots of freedom are of little or no interest to them at the moment. We are a nation afraid to go out at night. We're a society that has assigned low priority to education and has looked the other way while our public schools have been decimated. We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious men to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, friend, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: Making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and personal character. Then you have an old photo of the President's girlfriend. You scream about patriotism and you tell them she's to blame for their lot in life, you go on television and you call her a whore.

Sydney Ellen Wade has done nothing to you, Bob. She has done nothing but put herself through law school, prosecute criminals for five years, represent the interests of public school teachers for two years, and lobby for the safety of our natural resources.

You want a character debate? Fine, but you better stick with me, 'cause Sydney Ellen Wade is way out of your league. I've loved two women in my life. I lost one to cancer, and I lost the other 'cause I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job.

Well that ends right now.

Tomorrow morning the White House is sending a bill to Congress for its consideration. It's White House Resolution 455, an energy bill requiring a 20 percent reduction of the emission of fossil fuels over the next ten years. It is by far the most aggressive stride ever taken in the fight to reverse the effects of global warming. The other piece of legislation is the crime bill. As of today it no longer exists. I'm throwing it out. I'm throwing it out and writing a law that makes sense. You cannot address crime prevention without getting rid of assault weapons and handguns. I consider them a threat to national security, and I will go door to door if I have to, but I'm gonna convince Americans that I'm right, and I'm gonna get the guns.

We've got serous problems, and we need serious men, and if you want to talk about character, Bob, you'd better come at me with more than a burning flag and a membership card. If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up.

This is a time for serious men, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up. My name's Andrew Shepherd, and I am the President.

Got it yet?

No end

It's a miracle I can still blog everyday.

With my two most active clients still active, I'm having trouble squeezing in the others, even my government consultancy. I could only be there for a few hours, tops.

Yesterday, it was a congressional hearing for one of these active clients, a meeting with a friendly congressman and off again to a long meeting with the other active client.

Hopefully, all of these will simmer down a bit next week. But by then, I have a lot of neglected paperwork to do. I guess, I have to squeeze that in over the weekend, along with my aunt's big birthday bash at Saturday that will make me miss choir for sure.

Bea's not faring any better. She'll have a half day class on Saturday, too, which means I have to wake up early over the weekend also.

I hope to catch some sort of a break soon. But probably not...

Anyway, I have to go. I have a hearing to prepare for and attend this morning...then off again to a meeting that may probably take all night.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006
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Bothered but Resting

I'm catching a little bit of a break but I still have a lot of work to do today.

Just two things bothering me:

1. This news item about a Muslim lawmaker hitting a waitress. Why can't we all get along? Granted the lawmaker is going to "hell" because of that, would hitting or killing a person who did not know how serious that offense was do make that lawmaker's situation any better? Wars start because of this thinking, for the sake of religion.

Tolerance is the key and those who demand tolerance, understanding or respect should likewise be ready to give the same to others.

Just follow the Golden Rule, I always say. No, not the one that says "He who has gold, rules!"

I'm sorry this is just the way I feel. Don't kill me for that. This is, the last time I checked, a free country.

2. I'm still tired and I still have a lot of things to do. Will I ever get around to finish them?

A good day to everyone (I hope).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
This day in history from:

Ron Allan was right!

I took the Colorgenics test I discovered through Ron's entry...

This was the result:

My complete personal profile

At this time you are really feeling quite exhausted by all the conflict and quarrelling that is going on about you and you are looking for some sort of protection from this state of affairs. Ideally you are seeking a peaceful condition and a tranquil environment in which you can be afforded the chance to relax and recover......

For some time now you may have been subjected to considerable physical illness and or emotional distress. This may have taken a severe toll and you feel both physically and mentally worn out. Your self esteem has been reduced and you now need a peaceful environment which will permit you to effect full recovery.

Enough is enough - but the problems never seem to stop. They never stop. You feel, and maybe you are right, that the problems seem to go on and on and you have indeed had more than your fair share of trials and tribulations. But to give you credit - you bounce back time and time again - you stick to your beliefs because deep down you have that inner knowledge, that 'belief' system that in the end, everything will turn out OK - and you are right -it will!

The stress and tension that you are experiencing at this time is perhaps due to your inability to achieve security and appreciation from those closest to you. This is resulting in considerable pressures. You find the situation as it stands most frustrating. You are the sort of person that would like to experience all and everything very intensely but unfortunately you are not receiving the warmth and understanding that you feel you are entitled to. Matters are not going too well. You seek a sympathetic ear but it is not forthcoming. This situation is extremely nerve-racking - and what is more humiliating is that no-one seems to care and you are powerless to do anything about it.

In the past your trusting attitude has often been misunderstood and so you have needed to protect yourself against your tendency to be abused and taken advantage of. As a consequence you possibly adopt an aloof and critical attitude and you are only willing to let your guard down once sincerity and trustworthiness can be assured.

Whoa! This is so damn accurate...

If you want, you can take the test yourself here

Monday, November 20, 2006
This day in history from:

Just arrived...

Just arrived from a 16-hour workday...

Just so tired...

Just want to sleep...


Also just want to upgrade Scarlett's hard drive to 120 Gb...

Also just want to upgrade Scarlett's RAM to 2 Gb...

Also just want to ease my financial burden...

Also just want to finish my pending paperwork...


I will go on...

Perhaps after unwinding...

Or sleeping...

Sunday, November 19, 2006
This day in history from:


Psst... psst...

It's Manny Pacquiao over Morales by KO in the third...


Saturday, November 18, 2006
This day in history from:

Free and Wireless

On top of my hectic schedule that will eventually spill over this weekend and even into Monday, I squeaked in some time to fiddle around with Lindsay.

It all started when I was browsing a local Apple retailer's website to find out it sells USB WiFi dongles along with Airport Extreme cards.

As an Apple noob, I have been taught that the Airport Extreme Card attachment was the only wireless solution to Lindsay. But having that installed is way too expensive and besides, she was near the router anyway so I just wired her through the ethernet port, since my router also had 4 ethernet ports. This has worked for me in the past year or more.

But the PC guy in me told me that should not be the case. The thing is connected via USB so I guessed it's just a matter of someone writing a driver for these dongles for the Mac OSX.

And lo and behold, I found a driver for the spare wireless-g dongle I had. Somebody already did write one, I guess...

So now, Lindsay's free and wireless... and this entry is the first one made with the unwired Lindsay.

Here's how I did it:

1. I have a spare wireless-g dongle that is based on the Zydas ZD 1211 chip. I specifically have an extra Edimax EW-7317UG lying around that I did not include in Jessica's sale. This was the dongle I used in Jessica. I gave the buyer a wireless-b USB dongle instead since there's no ready difference.

2. Since Zydas has been acquired by Atheros, download the Atheros ZD 1211 Mac OSX drivers here.

3. Follow installation instructions that can be downloaded here.

Then, you too can enjoy a free and wireless iMac for a small fraction of the cost of an Airport Extreme Card.

Even if I'm going to be busy for quite some time, these fortunate events make me want to believe that things already heading for the better.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 17, 2006
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A super tight schedule

 I really hate this days when your schedules are tight. As in you need the precision of a military operation to get through this day.

I have a meeting over at Farview, then off to my consultancy because it's the boss' birthday today. Then back to a marathon conference I have been attending for the entire week that been keeping out of the house until very late.

But what's worse is a tight amorphous schedule. You know what I mean. A schedule that is not only tight, but may also change at a moment's notice. Or a tight schedule with one appointment that has not been confirmed but you need to fit in once it is.

Add to that, I have not been getting enough sleep lately (and not enough time to in the first place)  and I've coming home late and I don't get to see my kids as much as I want or should.

But I hope everything will work out fine today. And I hope I can fit everything today, in whatever order it may happen.

Anyway, I can squeeze some downtime over the weekend, although I have a briefing paper to prepare and submit before Monday.

Again, I'm not complaining. Just blogging about it.

A great weekend for us all.

Thursday, November 16, 2006
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Still busy

I had a congressional hearing and a meeting yesterday, with two of my busiest clients. And there's still a lot to do.

I feel all this work is taking its toll. Not getting enough sleep lately. Not eating enough also (to some, that's good, not bad). And I don't get to fetch Bea from school this week.

But again, I'm not complaining.

My best friend's diagnosis has turned to be more complicated than originally thought. The details are still sketchy but you'll know when everything becomes clear.

Anyway, I'll try to get some sleep right now. When I tried to get some sleep yesterday, the construction site beside our house decided to use jackhammers... The workers will start work again today at around 8:00 a.m. so I don't have much time.

Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
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One of the longest workdays

I remember some 11 odd-years ago my first day of work.

I pulled a 26-hour workday then because the law office I was working for was in the middle of a clients initial public offering (commonly referred to as an "IPO" here). I didn't imagine I would put in that many hours for my first day.

My workday yesterday is almost as long. As a matter of fact, it just ended now.

Let's see. I had a hearing at 8:30 a.m. but since it was somewhat far, I had to leave around 7:00 a.m. I have been away from that area for so long that I almost got lost. I did not know that there was a mall there where an old factory was, almost throwing me off my known landmarks.

Then I went to my government consultancy and to meeting with my clients after office hours until around 8:30 p.m.

But my workday did not end then. When I got home, I still did some paperwork and my client's position paper for a congressional hearing today. That was worth an all-nighter since my client and I exchanged emails on the draft until this morning.

Anyway, I have to get some rest now since I have to go to that congressional hearing, too. Fortunately, my house is just 10 minutes away so I guess I can get enough rest... if I start now.

Monday, November 13, 2006
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Blockage or the lack thereof

Started my day with a visit to my best friend at the Philippine Heart Center, where he was waiting for his angiogram. He looked and felt in high spirits, albeit visibly damaged from his ordeal.

Then off to my government consultancy where Jessica's new owner was. Tested her there one last time and she was working fine (her battery was still very good). Well, Jessica's new owner is a girl so she may be in good hands. Oh well... I'll miss her nonetheless.

A few matters to attend to in my consultancy then off to a grueling meeting, from which I just arrived. Anyway, that meeting will pay very well.

The best news came during that meeting. It appears my friend does not need a bypass, but a 2d echo will confirm that tomorrow. No blockage. Translation: a miracle.

All in all, one of the best days I had in recent memory, albeit long and tiring.

Wish there are more days like this in the future.

Sunday, November 12, 2006
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Good-bye, Jessica

Tomorrow, I give Jessica to her new owner.

It's been a good run, though I did not use her for what she was really intended. You see, she's in my room most of the time and I chose the flash disk approach to the mobility of my files.

One good thing with that, the hinges are still in perfect condition because I don't open and close her too much. And the LCD monitor is still covered with plastic. And the battery is still good because I rarely use it. I take it out when I'm plugged into the house current, which is most of the time. So the battery is still fresh.

Of course, she is not in pristine condition physically. The finish is a little bit worn out in the palm rests, which is understandable. But a good clean up will fix most of these signs of wear and tear.

I already copied all my files (and my downloaded stuff) from her and I actually deleted them from her already, ready for the new owner. I used about 5 DVD-Rs for that. Funny, I must have used up about 20Gb for my files and downloads and she was down to 4Gb of her 30Gb. Must have downloaded a lot of stuff during her time with me. Plus, I have blogged a lot of entries through her for most of the life of this blog. So in that sense, she has served me well.

Now, it's just a matter of recharging the battery, uninstalling some programs that I know I would only need and defragmenting.

So good-bye, Jessica. May you serve your new owner well. It's been a blast.

Saturday, November 11, 2006
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Wish List

People at this time of year are making their wish list. There's nothing wrong with this, you know. Wishing (and dreaming) will always be free. And besides, some generous person my read your wish list and may decide to just give it to you. You'll never know.

But if you're making a wish list, I suggest you don't become shy. Don't wish for something you can afford. Let your heart's desire speak.

So in that mindset, here's my wishlist:

1. A tricked out MacPro, with the following specs:

  • Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
  • 16GB (8 x 2GB)
  • 4 750GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s (total of 3 Terabytes of storage)
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB, Stereo 3D (2 x dual-link DVI)
  • 2 Apple Cinema HD Displays (30" flat panel)
  • Two 16x SuperDrives
  • Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
  • Apple USB Modem
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
  • Mac OS X
  • Mac OS X Server (Unlimited-Client, actually, I may not need this)
  • Final Cut Express HD, Logic Pro, Finale 2007 preinstalled
  • AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro/Power Mac (w/or w/o Display)

Cost: $18,673.00

2. Korg Oasys, 88-key synthesis studio, that will be attached to the Mac Pro, I'll also retain my X5D, for a two-synth set-up

Cost: more than a half million pesos ($10,000.00)

3. A Toyota Fortuner V 3.0 Dsl, A/T, tricked out with accessories

Cost: P2.0 Million pesos (about $40,000.00)

4. A trust fund for my kids (assurance they will graduate and have a good future, regardless of what happens to me)

Cost: about P10-15 Million pesos ($300,000.00)

5. A studio-type condominium unit in the Gateway mall area

Cost: about P6.0 Million pesos, fully furnished. ($150,000.00)

6. A mid-level Rolex watch

Cost: about P300,000.00 (about $6,000.00)

7. A professional flute (no specific brand/model yet)

Cost: $5,000.00

8. A MacBook Pro (will never have enough Macs; then I'll give away Scarlett and Jessica to my dad and some lucky girl willing to go out with me...)

9. A 24" iMac (for Bea; Nico gets Lindsay, after I trick her out with more memory, a bigger hard drive and iSight)

10. Other gadgets to specified later, like a big LCD screen TV, home theater, celphones, a new PDA and a DSLR camera with lenses

11. A master's degree in Law at Harvard University (that's the dream I gave up when I chose to marry... d'oh!)

Cost: Estimated $100,000.00

12. Pay for my best friend's bypass operation, plus give him a job with less stress, so he can still support his family

There's probably more, I'll just update this as it comes to me.

Hey! As I said, it's free to dream.

Friday, November 10, 2006
This day in history from:

Why Executive Order 523 won't work

The executive department has issued Executive Order No. 523 titled "Instituting the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Executive Department."

I could not find an online copy,
but according to the official press release:

EO 523, which she signed last April 7, mandates agencies under the Office of the President to "promote the use of alternative modes of dispute resolution such as, but not limited to, mediation, conciliation and arbitration as part of their practice of resolving disputes" and to report the progress of such efforts annually to her.

Under EO 523, the Office of the President is mandated to name at least two ADR specialists who shall undergo comprehensive training to properly equip them with the skills necessary to fully implement the ADR program according to international standards.

Why will it not work?

This is from my personal experience as a government lawyer. The "bean counters" and probably even the Commission on Audit (the "COA") would not allow it.

During my stint as chief legal of a very large government corporation, and drawing from my experience as a practicing lawyer, I batted for the settlement of long standing cases, especially those we have already lost in the lower level and were just on appeal.

My reasoning was sound. These were losing cases anyway and we may end up paying more in interest charges just to delay the inevitable loss.

But I was stopped dead on my tracks by our finance department, because allegedly there will be no basis for payment. It appears that government finance people would rather pay by virtue of a final judgment than by virtue of a settlement.

As you know, settlement will essentially mean the amount is basically achieved through negotiations, haggling or even horse-trading.

Hence, the Commission on Audit would question these settlement agreements because the basis of the amount would be too arbitrary, contrived, or even achieved by a hint of corruption. I myself felt I was being labeled "corrupted" by the opposing party for batting for settlement of that particular losing case. They felt that by batting for settlement, I was already on the opposing party's side or was already paid off to be on such side.

So, with all due respect, alternative dispute resolution methods in the executive department, given our audit system and the mentality of government bean counters, will simply not work. If I'm a government lawyer, I will not bat for it, lest I be accused of siding with (and being corrupted by) the enemy. I'd rather loose the case in a final decision that could take years. Any perhaps, in the end, I may end up winning it.

And did you know that even with a Supreme Court decision ordering payment in your favor, you still have to go to the COA to make a money claim? That's true and that's one instance where the COA is even higher than the Supreme Court.

Such a rotten system we have. That's another reason why foreign investors should stay away.

To a real sick leave...

It was a good thing I chose to work from home today again.

Nico has a sore throat and running a fever so I decided to just stick around just in case his situation would need further attention.

Then, I got a call this lunch from the nurse over at Bea's school. She's also running a fever so I had to fetch her.

So both of my kids are sick at the same time. And I'm not really feeling 100% as well. That's something new for me.

These are the time I wish someone was taking care of the kids... and even me. But oh well, that's life.

I'll get some shut-eye first. Then off to the doctor later.

Thursday, November 09, 2006
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A sick and tired leave

Because of the particularly tiring and day yesterday, my disgust with some people and some incidents and some mounting paperwork from clients, I decided to stay home and finish all pending paperwork and essentially declare a "sick and tired" leave today.

A friend even had me do a rush job before lunch. No complaints, rush jobs pay well. But now, I have to hustle to finish what I should have finished this morning.

Of course, I'll have time to fetch Bea again from school. Of course, she'll be thrilled.

I'll probably report to my consultancy next week, unless I have to attend to something urgent there.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll take my lunch, rest a bit and get to work. Sorry for not blogging substantial stuff recently. I'll try to do so soon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This day in history from:

Another long day

Just came back home from a grueling public hearing on billboard regulation in the morning and an emergency board meeting at late afternoon. I still have to finish some stuff for my clients so they have something to bring to carry out their marching orders tomorrow.

Anyway, the deal to sell Jessica went awry today. Two buyers were deciding among themselves who will buy her. But when one buyer prevailed over the other, he changed his mind because he apparently saw a better deal. Because of that change of mind, I even lost that other buyer.

That really sucks! They should not have committed to buy her, only to change their minds later on when they saw a better deal. You just don't do that on a done deal. I already made plans for the money I was to receive from the sale. I even agreed to give her away on installment and then, they do this to me.

What's worse, this buyer should have known better because he knows the law. And to be technical about it, he knows that under the law, you cannot just walk away from a consumated deal. One thing's for sure. That buyer is going to get the silent treatment from me tomorrow, if I show up there at all.

Let's see... tune in to this story as it develops further.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
This day in history from:

Post Script

Both my appointments for the day canceled, leaving my entire day free.

This was a welcome break, allowing me to get some rest and fetch Bea from school. As usual, she loves it when I fetch her because we have afternoon snacks in the school's cafeteria.

I'll do some more work and then rest. If this day's appointments did not materialize, tomorrow's an even bigger day.

A short entry for a big day

As the title above suggests, this will be short because I have to be over at the Podium by 8:00 a.m. for a meeting with one of my client's lawyers. Yes, you read it right. They hired a new guy, actually, a new old, better known lawyer for our public hearing tomorrow.

Then off to do some errands (like paying bills and possibly fetching Bea from school), probably report over at my consultancy, then a big meeting with that new client I was talking about in previous posts at 5:00 p.m.

In the meantime, I've been using Parallels desktop to install and run Ubuntu Linux and began fiddling around with it since yesterday. My initial impression is positive, considering it's free. But I'm still having trouble installing additional software in it (how the hell to I log in as a root user and how do I access the command lines?), but I guess I'll get the hang of it. And I tried the Ubuntu live CD in Jessica and it was too slow, plus again, I still have to fiddle around to get wifi in it.

Anyway, I have to go. Maybe I'll blog later if I have the time. This built in spell check in Firefox is sure great... it's like typing in Microsoft Word.


Monday, November 06, 2006
This day in history from:


This entry is dedicated to Jeff Vergara, considering this entry and what he's going through.

Hang in there, bro'!

by Alanis Morisette

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic ... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought ... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
'Well isn't this nice...'
And isn't it ironic ... don't you think
Repeat Chorus

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's okay and everything's going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

It's a traffic jam when you're already late
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...
Repeat Chorus

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

Sunday, November 05, 2006
This day in history from:

MacBook Notes

I have been using Scarlett now for almost a month and I must say, the experience is proving to be more satisfactory than with Lindsay.

If course, the road is bumpier since the Intel processor is still relatively new on a Mac so there will always be some hitches along the way. That's a given.

Particularly problematic are the Flash and Shockwave objects. Flash is already universal binary but Shockwave isn't, so you really have to run stuff under Rosetta to see the latter.

That's when the trouble started for me. I installed Shockwave to run under Rosetta but normally run Firefox universal native. It affected even the Flash objects and hence, could not display them. Imagine that, I could not even see the YouTube videos I pasted in my entries.

I thought the problem was with YouTube itself since it was transitioning to the Google system so I ignored it for most of yesterday.

But then, I installed Parallels Desktop to run Windows XP (cough! cough!) last night, since I still needed to run a couple of programs that are only available there. I noticed the XP based browsers correctly displayed Flash content.

But all's well that ends well. It was just a matter of uninstalling and reinstalling everything (except Shockwave, I will just wait until it goes Universal). Everything's fine now and Flash content is already loading correctly on the browsers.

I have to say, though, that the Parallels option is just as impressive as what I imagined Boot Camp may be. I guess using the Boot Camp option will be quicker since it will not run parallel to or under OSX and it will use the hardware directly. But I really don't want to add a separate physical partition for XP as I would only use Windows XP a fraction of the time. So the Parallels option is best for my purposes.

And surprisingly, Windows XP on an Intel Mac using Parallels Desktop is still twice as fast as Jessica, which I already sold to raise additional funds to pay off Scarlett (which is not surprising simply because Scarlett has more than twice the processing power and twice the RAM as Lindsay)... although it chokes up when you run a Mac OSX application simultaneously. But that could be solved by additional memory, which will be my next project. But then again, I really don't need to run XP and Mac OSX programs simultaneously. I'm not that of a power user.

Anyway, I have to go and rest some more. I slept at 3:00 a.m. because of all of these and I still have a major document to finish and email today. Plus, that client I was telling you about is requesting for a meeting today, in far away Roxas Boulevard area... on a Sunday...

Hey! I'm not complaining. A lot of work still way better than no work...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday, November 04, 2006
This day in history from:

Busy Week(end)

Just a quick blog entry today because I'm in the middle of something.

My two current concerns are my two most active clients last month. Apparently, the frenzy of activities last month will spill over to this month as the external pressures are unrelenting.

This means, I'm working this weekend. On various fronts. Don't worry, I will do this mostly from home so I will still have time to pursue other concerns. But I missed practice with my other choir because of this...

But I'll probably blog later on about another new client because his story sends chills down my spine... because I just found out "that girl" had a clone...

In the meantime, here's another video...

I Will Sing Forever
by Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J.

I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
I will celebrate the wonder of Your name
For the word that You speak is a song of forgiveness
And a song of gentle mercy and of peace

Let us wake at the morning and be filled with Your love
And sing songs of praise all our days
For Your love is as high as the heavens above us
And Your faithfulness as certain as the dawn

I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
I will celebrate the wonder of Your name
For the word that You speak is a song of forgiveness
And a song of gentle mercy and of peace

I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
For You are my refuge and my strength
You fill the world with Your life-giving spirit
That speaks Your word
Your word of mercy and of peace

And I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord
Yes I will sing forever of Your love, O Lord

Friday, November 03, 2006
This day in history from:

The Children's Hour

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, o blue-eyed banditt,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

(Why this children's poem for a blog entry? Well, Bea's practising a declamation piece. I remembered I used this piece to win when I was Bea's age and grade)

Thursday, November 02, 2006
This day in history from:

Have you tried Opera?

In my frustration with the recent version of Firefox, I decided to revisit an old friendly browser called Opera.

I wasn't dissappointed. It was far more stable and used less resources than Firefox. It's as customizeable as any Mozilla product it has mouse gestures off the box, without having to load an extension.

And what sold me to it is... it has BitTorrent built in. No more downloading and managing on a separate client...

Give it a test drive. It will not dissapoint.

Firefox Fixes

I'm still in the middle of testing Firefox 2.0 on Scarlett.

Apparently, Firefox 2.0 does not sit well with an Intel Mac. It hangs on me several times (about 5 to 6) a day, especially on "feature-laden" websites, the ones with Flash or Shockwave bits.

On a side note, I saw someone comment on some popular tech blog (I'll give you one guess...) stating that he had no problems with Firefox 2.0 but in the same breath, stated he liked its "Restore Session" function.

Duh! If he had no problems with Firefox 2.0, he would never have seen that feature...

The internet gave two solutions but there's actually three:

1. Run Firefox 2.0 on Rosetta. But the speed difference of this solution is pretty noticeable, so I ended up using a combination of the two solutions below.

2. Disable some extensions. Actually, the only offending extension was the Google Toolbar, and

3. Use another browser. (Like Camino, or even Firefox 1.5)...

If you have similar problems, the links are there...

Apparently, everything's stable now because I went through this entry without problems.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006
This day in history from:

Remembering with a Prayer

Let us remember our dearly departed today with this simple, traditional, yet powerful prayer:

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace. Amen

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen

An In-town Holiday

Times like these, we usually go to my father's hometown of Bay, Laguna to visit the graves of my paternal grandfather (after whom Nico was named) and grandmother.

But for this year, it will be different. Traffic has been unbearable going to that place (it's the town after Los Baños, a popular hot spring resort town) and we can only go there using separate cars, as my sister's van is still in the shop for repairs. Then, my niece is down with a fever and I'm still recovering from my own bout with sickness.

So we decided just to light candles and say our own prayers for our dearly departed today.

But tomorrow, we go to the graves of my maternal grandmother and grandfather. The place is just nearby and since it's not a holiday, there will probably be less of a crowd.

Halloween went well for the kids and you may have noticed.

A fruitful holiday to all.

Once a dream...

And for almost a month now, a reality...

Meet Scarlett, with Jessica, showing both my blogs...

Now to pay it off... by not eating!

Disaster relief, sustainable development & community service

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Side Prayers

Lord Jesus,
Teach me to be generous,
Teach me to serve You as You deserve
To give and not to count the cost,
To fight and not to heed the wounds,
To toil and not to seek for rest,
To labor and not to ask for reward,
except that of knowing
That I do Your Holy Will. Amen

May every word I speak be from Your Truth...
I ask come from Your Wisdom...
May every case I handle receive Your Guidance...
May every heart, every life I touch, feel Your Love.

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying,
"Oh, that You would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that Your Hand be with me,
that You would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain."

So God granted him what he requested.

Side Oath

The Lawyer's Oath
I do solemnly swear that
I will maintain allegiance to
the Republic of the Philippines,
I will support its Constitution
and obey the laws as well as
the legal orders of the
duly constituted authorities therein;
I will do no falsehood,
nor consent to the doing of any in court;
I will not wittingly or willingly
promote or sue any groundless,
false or unlawful suit,
nor give aid nor consent to the same;
I will delay no man for money or malice,
and will conduct myself as a lawyer
according to the best of my knowledge
and discretion with all good fidelity
as well to the courts as to my clients;
and I impose upon myself this voluntary obligation
without any mental reservation
or purpose of evasion.
So help me God.

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