Tuesday, February 27, 2007
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A break...

Turns out we're not fired... yet.

Some other good developments over at work that I cannot state due to my confidentiality agreements but they may be revealed someday when everything's final.

But there's still a lot of work to be done and I'm also recovering from my "driving duties" this past few days.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day, with another set of possibilities. I just hope these are all for the best.

Sunday, February 25, 2007
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Grueling...

Just came back from driving my parents to a party in Manila. And before that, a Sunday meeting, to stem the "catastrophe" that just ocured.

Since I was not invited, Bea and I decided to wait it out in the Mall of Asia.

Yeah, I know. I vowed not to go to the place again. But I did not have a choice this time.

Anyway, I bought a bluetooth keyboard and since I hooked Scarlett up to a big "monitor" (and I have a wireless mouse, I discovered a new way of computing. At this very moment, I'm literally blogging from the bed. And since Scarlett can be used like this even with a closed lid, I'm actually saving her display this way.

Blogging sure has come a long way...

Saturday, February 24, 2007
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Failures

1. Discovered a major failure in work that will probably cause the client to fire us.
2. Some failure in navigation leading to a slight delay in attending a funeral of a close relative.
3. Failure to attend choir (and service) because of this funeral.
4. Again, some failure navigation going home (and running smack into traffic at such a late hour)

These are the times I wish I could just crawl under a rock, just dissolve or vaporize into nothingness or just fade away.

I hope the future is still bright for us...

Friday, February 23, 2007
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Nothing much...

I'm enjoying this "small" work hiatus. It was mostly my government consultancy work for this week.

But for next week, it will be different. My "busiest" clients will be active again.

So I'm maximizing this break as for long as I can. And that includes limiting my blogging.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007
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Ash Wednesday

Just a reminder. Today is Ash Wednesday. If you're Catholic, you know what that means. If you're not, you probably have a hang over from Mardi Gras...

I decided to stay at home today to tend to my kids and practice my saxophone(s). Besides, there's choir today, so I have to rest up now lest my flute playing will suffer later tonight.

Don't worry. Work still managed to find me in this self-declared day off...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007
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A Party for Bea

For the first time in five years, I put in a downpayment for Bea's 9th birthday party at a known pizza place near our house. For the first time in five years, she'll have a party with the works: party favors, games and a mascot. Maybe, we can go for a swim afterwards, like what we did during her past birthdays.

And I made the downpayment in her presence. She even picked her theme herself and said she'll personally write the names in her invitations.

Don't get me wrong, it will still be a small and modest party with only a few guests. But for kids like her, this is the kind of party to have. She's excited already, even if it will still be in April.

This is what makes the long hours I have put in my work these past few months. She'll have a party that she has wanted for a long time.

The last time she had a party like this, she still had a mother.

Monday, February 19, 2007
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Too Familiar

People who know me personally know I frequent this mall in front of my government consultancy, more because I avail of their parking facilities (there are only a few slots in the building where I go to) than anything else.

Today was so different. Or more accurately, too much.

I usually go there on Mondays for regular weekly meetings and then spend some time wandering about its gadget section just to drool and ogle at stuff I can never afford. This day was no exception. Parked there and went on my usual rounds...

But today is my mother's birthday. So when I arrived home late afternoon, my dad was going to treat us to her birthday dinner.

I'll give you one guess where we decided to go... Finally had the chance to purchase some of those Napoleones I'm always salivating over, though... Munching through them sure brought back some memories...

Sunday, February 18, 2007
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Vista

Finally had that date in Gateway a little while ago.

Only this time, I took my kids with me and bought a gift for their grandmother's 67th birthday tomorrow.

Again, I fought the urge to purchase an LCD TV... but at the store, I got the chance to take a machine running Vista Basic for a spin (think it was one from HP).

All I can say is it has the same "feel" as Mac OS X but of course, they cannot copy the "looks" as they may run into intellectual properties issues with Apple. Also, a machine with that caliber should already have Aero simply because a Mac with comparable specs (or even lower specs) runs the same "glassy" OS X already.

But in fairness, it really looks and feels like a better OS than XP. But of course, I just handled the thing for a few minutes...

But with the need to purchase a brand new machine, not to mention the prohibitive price of the software itself (and the lack of resale value thereof), I think I'm better off getting Lindsay 2.0 first before I go on board with Vista.

Of course, if someone gives me a Vista machine, I wouldn't refuse it (because Office 2007 looks impressive, albeit totally redesigned). But if I had to spend with my own money, I'd still put it in a Mac.

Friday, February 16, 2007
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Back with a vengeance

Just got Lindsay back this afternoon. It was confirmed: a busted logic board was the problem so I get to keep my data intact.

But there's more.

Prices for additional RAM for her went way down so I got her an extra 512Mb of it while she's on rehab.

So now, she's running at 768 Mb. And yes, with her additional performance upgrade, she's back with a vengeance. I could even afford to increase the resolution and detail of Sims 2, which I find very satisfactory. Don't get me wrong. She was competent at 256 Mb of RAM for normal apps but the lag was very noticeable in Sims 2 that I had to cut back on the details. This was severely highlighted when I got Scarlett.

The performance gain was very noticeable, but of course, I cannot match Scarlett (who's Core Duo 2.0 Mhz with 1 Gb of RAM). But Lindsay still has a special place here as she's still beautiful as a living room piece. And that 17" display...

And she was, before that logic board failure, my most stable machine. I hope she regains that title someday...

But I fought of the urge to get Lindsay 2.0 (a 17" Intel C2D 2.0, 120 Gb hard disk, 8X Superdrive, built-in iSight, wireless, etc...), but someday, I will.

Bea's putting her through her paces while I here blogging over at, you guessed it, Scarlett.

Nanny Punzi

I actually spent most of the yesterday morning (to the middle of the afternoon) attending to my kids. As usual, I took Bea to school early morning and then took care of Nico for the rest of the morning because her regular nanny took the day off the day before and only returned that afternoon (I wonder why?).

Then, Bea spent a considerable time in my room when she came from school in the afternoon.

It was a good time to bond with my children, especially with Nico who has considerably advanced in age (and wisdom or the lack thereof, heheheheheh!).

The moment was short-lived, however, as I was called to high-pressure work late in the afternoon and I actually came home 11:00 p.m. when they were already asleep.

But it was, all things considered, a good day...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007
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Stood up...

Unbelievable?

I can't believe it myself. How did I even manage to stand myself up?

But in fairness, I tried. I went to Cubao and to that music store I know there to buy some saxophone stuff. I was about to finish my business there and proceed to Gateway (to start my date) when my friend (you know, the one having his wedding anniversary...) called me to proceed to his lunch party early. All my date plans went south from there.

Did manage to have food delivered at the house this afternoon and we had a small "party" here with my nieces, my sister, my mother and my kids...

And I thought I would have a quiet date with myself. Then I stood myself up. How pathetic can you get?

Happy Valentines Day!


I hope you're prepared!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
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Now that's a plan!

What are your plans for tomorrow?

I know for a fact that it's my friend's 9th wedding anniversary tomorrow (how mushy can you get?) so he'll have a lunch party over at the office and a famous college mate's birthday (deal... or no deal...) so I guess those people already have something in mind...

As for me, I decided to go on a date... with myself... for a morning in Gateway. Even when I had a regular date way back, I don't go out on Valentine's Day, moreso at night. It's just too darn crowded.

That's easier to bear that dating someone else... no need to prepare... it's not that expensive (because whatever it is, you'll only spend half) and you really don't have to try and "fit in" with your date.

I'll tell you how my "date" went tomorrow, of course.

Of course, flowers for Bea and my mom are a given... and probably have some food delivered.

For those of us having a "cold" Valentine's Day tomorrow, don't worry. It will be over before you know it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007
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The 22nd...

This was supposed to be the 22nd visit... again a no-show.

It's a good thing, because Bea and I went to Greenhills to do some shopping. She got some girl-stuff (I really don't know what she got, she was with her grandmother...).

As for me, I go to Greenhills for the gadget stuff... almost bought an Xbox 360 (I didn't realize how low the prices are on these babies... and the Playstation 3 price is also dropping fast) and a new PDA... but I fought the urge to make these major purchases...

Instead, I got myself an iTrip, as I was getting sick and tired of my old FM transmitter. This was worked better. And at twice the price, it better work twice as well...

Tried shopping around for an enclosure for the spare 20Gb hard disk I salvaged from Britney. With her retirement, I just salvaged her for parts. But the one I tested did not work, indicating either incompatibility with the enclosures or the demise of that disk. I'll have the hard disk tested tomorrow...

Eventually ended up buying a UPS. To conserve battery cycles, I usually take out Scarlett's when I'm just plugged into the house current. But we have been experiencing trips and outages lately, corrupting some of my files. The UPS is supposed to solve these current problems.

I plugged Scarlett, the 500 GB external hard disk, the speakers and a study lamp. But I plan to buy another one for the DSL modem and router so my network would have a little bit of protection...

And BTW, I'm already at 6,238 songs on my new iPod... I can't believe it...

Here's to a good week ahead of us.

Saturday, February 10, 2007
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A Family Day...

Picture worth a thousand words?

Need I say the Family Day was a blast?

Friday, February 09, 2007
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Two things...

For tomorrow, there are two things out of the regular agenda:

1. Family Day @ Bea's school- It's that time of year again for family day. If you think Bea will lack family support tomorrow, you're seriously mistaken. Far from it, aside from Nico and me, Bea's grandfather and grandmother will be joining us tomorrow.

2. Giving out of cards- Bea's unsure of her performance this quarter and that is cause me a great deal of tension right now... we'll know tomorrow how she was...


Our maestro went to Hong Kong and will be out for 3 weeks to a month. That will effectively halt our Saturday sessions until he gets back. But there's still choir tomorrow and Sunday...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 08, 2007
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Just ended...

Had a string of late nights since yesterday.

Yesterday, I went to my consultancy to help my colleague answer questions arising from the lecture I made. But they had some socials that lasted until midnight. I got home around 1:00 a.m. and went to sleep around 3:00 a.m.

But I work up 5:30 a.m. to take Bea to school. She went on a field trip today.

Today, I came home from currently, my busiest client quite late. But I still had some paperwork to do and I just ended now.

We haven't really talked about how her field trip went. As a matter of fact, I have not been spending quality time with Bea lately because of my late nights. I spend some time with Nico during mornings.

But that will change come Saturday. It's family day in her school... and giving out of report cards. That'll test the range of your emotions in one day...

Got to go. I need to rest as I have a hearing tomorrow...


Wednesday, February 07, 2007
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Blog Lecture No. 70: Disciplining Legislators

Just a brief lecture...

What does the law say about Congress disciplining its own members?

Section 16 (3), Article XI of the 1987 Constitution states:

(3) Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all its Members, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty for suspension, when imposed, shall not exceed sixty days.

Sections 138 and 139 (Rule XX) of the House Rules says:

Section 138. Cause. - Upon the recommendation of the Committee on Ethics, the House may punish its Members for disorderly behavior.

Section 139. Votes Needed. - The House may censure or reprimand an erring Member with the concurrence of the majority of its Members. It may suspend or expel such erring Member with the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of all its Members, Provided, That a penalty of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) days.

Sections 93 to 97 (Rule XXXIV) of the Senate Rules says:

SEC. 93. Acts and language which offend a Senator or any public institution shall be deemed unparliamentary.

SEC. 94. No Senator, under any circumstances, shall use offensive or improper language against another Senator or against any public institution.

SEC. 95. When a Senator, by word or deed, violates any Rule of the Senate, the President, motu proprio or at the instance of another Senator, may call him to order. The Senator concerned shall immediately take his seat if he happens to have the floor; and, in case the point of order raised has been sustained by the President or Presiding Officer, said Senator shall not continue speaking without the consent of the Senate. The motion permitting the Senator concerned to continue speaking shall be resolved without debate.

SEC. 96. When a Senator is called to order for using unparliamentary language, any other Senator may ask that the objectionable words be read for the information and decision of the Senate.

SEC. 97. Upon the recommendation of the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, the Senate may punish any Member for disorderly behavior and, with the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire membership, suspend or expel a Member. A penalty of suspension shall not exceed sixty (60) calendar days.

So how do you harass... I mean... discipline a legislator?

First, you file a complaint with the house where he is a member, be it the Senate or the House of Representatives. (Of course, you know I'm not referring to a particular case... heheheheheh!)

Then, it goes through the process prescribed by the Ethics Committee of whatever house of congress it is filed. Of course, there must be due process here but being sort of an administrative case, the standard of guilt is not beyond reasonable doubt (as in criminal cases) but merely substantial evidence.

Then the ethics committee makes a recommendation for consideration of plenary.

The plenary then decides to follow this recommendation, but only by 2/3 vote of the entire membership.

In the House of Representatives, the complainant needs at least 168 votes (based on 235 members, per the 2004 elections results, which may not be up to date because of death or resignation of some members) to suspend or expel a member.

In the Senate, the complainant needs at least 16 votes.

If the penalty is suspension, how long can it be?

Up to 60 calendar days. It cannot be more because this is a constitutional mandate.

LUNCH BREAK!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007
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Replacement Work

Spent the entire day in my government consultancy in preparation for the planning seminar I was not supposed to attend because I was supposed to go to the north again for a hearing.

The government agency knew I was not coming and my colleague will deliver the law lectures I have prepared last week. So they did not reserve me a room and I'm not included in their food preparations.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), my hearing in the north got canceled, leaving a gaping 3-days hole in my schedule for the week.

But this was quickly replaced by even more work in one of my "busy" clients, plus a spot appearance in that seminar (now to be held in Manila, not out of town), and some meetings with a friend of mine with whom I do some collaborative work.

And I thought I would have a three-day breather... I was so wrong... and believe it or not, my workday has not ended... Right now, I'm still preparing some documents and waiting for my client's comments on some other documents documents earlier...

And add to that Bea's field trip on Thursday...

Breathe in.... breathe out...

I thought I

Sunday, February 04, 2007
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Embouchure

Heard of this word before?

As defined in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

(Etymology: French, from (s')emboucher to flow into, from en- + bouche mouth)
1 : the position and use of the lips, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument
2 : the mouthpiece of a musical instrument

I mean it in the first sense, as referring to my embouchure in the alto and soprano saxophones, as well the flute.

Having embouchure problems because of my present interest in the saxophone. But it only means, I should not neglect my flute playing because it will suffer as the two instruments have two different embouchures.

But my flute playing was better this week than last week's. It did not sound so airy. Only goes to show that my flute playing is jealous... it also demands equal time from me... good thing I'm not attached...

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, February 03, 2007
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Working weekend

My client just sent over at my house some documents as I have to work this weekend for some papers due first thing on Monday.

There's still time so I attended my Saturday session and probably choir later tonight. I'll do their documents tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll get some rest as I have to gear up for a totally busy week ahead. Seems that next week already had a jump on me.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. I never complain there's too much work. Better than no work at all, I always say. I have the my new iPod to keep me company through it.

Hope your weekend and week ahead are as busy as mine... and I mean that in the best possible way.

Friday, February 02, 2007
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Upgrades

Thanks to additional work and a trade-in program, I managed to upgrade from my 30Gb iPod to an 80Gb one... Had to do it because I was already at 22Gb and I still had some 11 Gigs of content to load and at that rate, my old iPod will not be enough...

Just finished transferring my content and charging her up. It's supposed to have a better screen and battery life.

I already confirmed the first one. The screen is gorgeous. More gorgeous than my old iPod. I could, (if I could) watch movies here but I think my eyes will really suffer.

As regards the battery life, well... it remains to be seen... My 30Gb iPod's battery life is horrendous when I played videos on it... Anyway, I'm trying this baby with very long video podcasts... let's see what she's got.

And since I have two great headphones (my Jabra bluetooth wireless and my Sennheiser PX-100), I chose to keep the stock headphones sealed in its package...

I'll put it through its paces tomorrow since I'm supposed to drive my mother to her appointment at lunchtime.

Here's to a great weekend for us all...

Thursday, February 01, 2007
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Feel like such an idiot

I spent considerable time at the mall in front of my government consultancy office, waiting for my mother to finish her errands.

Because of this, I bought some pre-school books for Nico, some sundries for my new soprano saxophone (a second mouthpiece and some cork grease) and a second guitar stand for my father's second guitar.

Unfortunately, I held the plastic bag that held the stand the wrong way, causing the outer bag to fall. At first, I did not mind it because the stand was in the inner bag. But when I got home, it dawned on me... the saxophone mouthpiece and the cork grease was in that bag that fell.

Now I feel like such an idiot. I bought another mouthpiece and cork grease today and wasted money on my stupidity. And the mouthpiece I bought was not so good as the one that came with my soprano sax.

Well, you can't have good days all the time...

Disaster relief, sustainable development & community service


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Side Prayers

PRAYER FOR GENEROSITY
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

THE LAWYER'S PRAYER
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.

THE JABEZ PRAYER
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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