Sunday, November 30, 2008
This day in history from:

Highlight

The highlight of this day is my brother-in-law and sister's wedding anniversary dinner.

It had to be dinner because the rest of the family went to mass on 5:30 p.m., with my niece having a violin session and Bea and her cousin having a Junior Legion session about an hour afterwards.

We had dinner at Serye, QMC. I'm still reeling from the food I personally consumed. It was very good, though.

And Merphi (my niece) had a field day with my camera. Watch for the in my Facebook and Multiply accounts shortly.

Anyway, I'm off to resume playing Resistance 2 for a little bit before calling it a day. We're off to Trinoma tomorrow because Bea wants to watch Twilight.

Oh, and this was the song of the day:



Hot and Cold
Katy Perry

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes
Yeah, you pee a mess like a bitch
I would know

And you always think
Always speak cryptically
I should know
That you're no good for me

'Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up

You, you don't really wanna stay, no
You, but you don't really wanna go, oh

'Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down

We used to be just like twins, so in sync
The same energy now's a dead battery
Used to laugh 'bout nothing
Now you're plain boring
I should know
That you're not gonna change

'Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up

You, you don't really wanna stay, no
You, but you don't really wanna go, oh

You're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down

Someone call the doctor
Got a case of a love bipolar
Stuck on a rollercoaster
Can't get off this ride

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes

'Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up

'Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down
You're wrong when it's right
It's black and it's white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up

You, you don't really wanna stay, no
You, but you don't really wanna go, oh

You're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no
You're in and you're out
You're up and you're down, down, down, down...

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Saturday, November 29, 2008
This day in history from:

Addition

I finally got my friend who plays the cello to join us in our chamber session today. Looks like he's coming back and join us some more. And for that, I'm truly grateful as he made an immediate impact in our group.

But I had to leave early because I had to drive/take my mother to another wake of her dead friend, and then to the hospital to visit an ailing friend.

That sortie ended just in time for choir. But I barely had enough time to change clothes before heading out to practice. Did not even have time for dinner.

Choir service was just ok. Nothing spectacular, though. Again, having chamber sessions in the morning helped my playing at mass.

That's about it for this entry. I'm tired already as I am still recovering from my out-of-town trip yesterday.

Good night. And a happy long weekend for all of us.

Friday, November 28, 2008
This day in history from:

Misdirected...



Obviously, I did not go to GenSan yesterday.

I just arrived back home now.

Obviously, again, I brought along my camera.



It was a success. My trip, I mean. But I did not go around because my work ended at around 10:30 p.m. Just had enough time to have dinner and a few drinks with a colleague there.

So aside from my hotel room, I only got off a few shots of the Davao International Airport.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This day in history from:

Out-of-town gig

Finally, some action.

I'm off to Pacquio's hometown tomorrow for a job.

I was supposed to be back the same day. It's a good thing I asked the client when we are returning. I was planning to bring just myself over there. I'm supposed to go back on the first trip on Friday.

So this blog may be silent tomorrow. I'm not bringing Scarlett with me. But of course, anything's possible.

I'm still thinking of bringing my (good) camera... so I can post something other than words in my blog in the days to come.

I'll decide if I'll bring it tomorrow. And you'll definitely know if I did.

So I have to rest now because I have to wake up early to make it to the airport on time tomorrow.

Good night.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This day in history from:

Still nothing

Despite the three ring circus that happened to day (where our firm participated in one of them), there is still nothing to report here in the personal front. Just a partner's meeting that almost never materialized, a long lost friend I found in Facebook and a hearing tomorrow.

Maybe I'll do a meme tomorrow for some content.

Goodnight, world.

Monday, November 24, 2008
This day in history from:

Not again?

This week is not going according to plan... again...

I'll keep you posted. Not really in the mood to blog right now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008
This day in history from:

How goes this weekend

This weekend is going pretty well so far.

Started yesterday with our bi-weekly chamber session. Our maestro has returned and somehow, we managed to limp through "Air on a G string," meaning, we actually finished the piece with only a few fumbles along the way. The cello made a difference in our playing, first by giving a baseline to our ensemble and second, fixing us to a rhythm.

And that deal that disintegrated before my eyes last weekend may do a Lazarus, hopefully next week.

A few hours of rest (i.e., sleep) then it was off to choir practice and mass. I did not get to play at all last week (which added to my woes) as my choirmates had to attend that renewal seminar. Played relatively well, as I always play better when there's a chamber session the morning before. Playing for some time during the day always loosens me up on choir time. Plus having this mass as some sort of thanksgiving for Nico's passing Ateneo probably contributed to my better-than-average play.

It's the Feast of Christ the King today, which means Christmas season is upon us... that's another thing to be grateful for.

Then, it's our monthly extended choir practice and we're actually practicing advent song already. Pretty soon, we'll be practicing Christmas songs.

So the weekend is going great so far. I hope this carries on to next week.

A good weekend and week ahead to all.

Friday, November 21, 2008
This day in history from:

Fortunately for time

The day was fortunate insofar as time is concerned.

Fortunately, my Dad took my fetching-Nico-from-school chore so I can go to my consultancy earlier.

Fortunately, it was a slow day in my consultancy so I disposed of that quickly.

Fortunately, I got to the office early so I had the time to deal with week's worth of incoming pleadings, orders and other correspondences.

Fortunately, the lawyers meeting went by quickly (as everyone had something to do this evening) and we finished earlier than usual.

Fortunately, I still had the time to catch Family Night at Bea's school. My sister took it upon herself to take Bea there while I was working. Bea was so happy I got there. But again, that affair was not single-parent friendly. I think those people have common sense just above sea-level.

And finally, fortunately, there's chamber session and extended choir practice tomorrow so I can play all the flute I want. And again, I'm still grateful, fortunately.

Thursday, November 20, 2008
This day in history from:

Uneventful

Yesterday was uneventful.

Some paperwork. A pleading drafted. Could not go out yesterday because my dad used the car that was not banned for the day due to number-coding. Anyway, there's nothing in it for me in the office.

Other than some errands, today will be equally uneventful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This day in history from:

Complete Relief

Yesterday morning, I was slaving away on paperwork for a case I was handling, bouncing/rebouncing email and redrafting pleadings submitted by our associates.

Actually, the day was uneventful at that point and I was still reeling from the nightmare week that was and the actual nightmare I had the morning before. I always figured, when one is down and out like that there was no way to go but up.

So after finishing up, I had to report to my consultancy, because I had not done so for the entire week and the workday before (on account of my bum foot, of course). As I was about to go, I chanced upon the new letter deliveries on our mail bin near the front door. I saw the Ateneo 150th Anniversary logo on one of the envelopes. No biggie, I thought, since I always get alumni material in the mail.

But then, it was addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. Punzi." That's rather unusual for alumni mail. It was rather thick, and as I opened it, I noticed there was some sort of a form I had to fill up. At first, I thought those were just forms to update alumni information.

Then it dawned on me. This is probably the results of Nico's application for admission to the Ateneo Grade School. Conventional wisdom says when this kind of letter is quite thick, it means Nico got accepted. Hence, I was not really nervous when as I forced the envelope open.

Well guess what? Conventional wisdom is true:

(click on the image to read it)

So there will be two Ateneans in the house; three if you count my dad's one year stint in the Ateneo Master's Degree in Business Administration program. And there will be a second-generation (or third generation, depending on perspective) Atenean with the same shot at what I had at an Ateneo education, as my parents had given me (and for which I am so grateful to this day).

From the start, I had a lukewarm attitude towards Nico's application. I know a lot of parents would kill for a chance to have their sons study there. They even try to exert their influence just to force admission into this prestigious school.

But not me. I always believe that if Nico did pass, he had to pass on his own merit. It is not as if I cannot exert my own influence to force Nico's admission. I most certainly can. But forcing his admission will only be counter-productive and even traumatic for Nico in the long run. I will not force the issue if Nico failed to make it in. If Ateneo says he can't make it there, then I'm humble enough to agree and not force my way.

But I think he passed on his own merit this time. During the examinations, we were told that the results would come out in December. The fact that I got the results this early indicates he has passed convincingly, as his assured slot would presumably be given to wait-listed applicants should I fail to enroll him early December.

I sincerely hope Nico and I can live up to our respective tasks. I hope Nico gets educated "in the Ateneo way" as a close friend said. And I hope I can give it to him.

This is total relief from the nightmare I have been experiencing these past few days. And I hope it only gets better from here.

And for this, I'm truly grateful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This day in history from:

Nightmares

I could not tell you enough how much of a nightmare I had last week. From my injured foot at the beginning to the deal that disintegrated before my eyes near its end, all I can say iis that week was a disaster of epic proportions.

Yesterday was no cakewalk, either. I had this nightmare (as in a really, really bad dream) early morning. I could vaguely remember the details now. As far as I can remember, it was part pornographic (sorry, I'm just human so that's probably why I got sucked into that early, pardon the pun), part adventure, but mostly horror.

The only thing that woke me up was my cellphone which I set up to alarm at 5:30 a.m. so I can take Bea to school. Sometimes I forget to do that so I was really glad yesterday, I did.

Who knows if I would wake up of I didn't. There is no one sleeping beside me so there is no one to wake me up if I'm having nightmares. I better not forget to set it and make it a permanent alarm.

That's all for now. I better get back to work.

Monday, November 17, 2008
This day in history from:

... to Take a Vow



Take a Vow
by HappySlip

You stand before me right now
Telling me all your vows
In front of God and our friends
I’ll stay with you ’til the end
I pledge my life

After all that I put you through
You have shown your love that is true

And this is what I know
You are not self seeking
It’s your humble heart
That always thinks of others
You are worth the wait
Noble man of honor
I stand before you now
and I accept your vows

For better, for worse
For richer, for poorer
In sickness, and in health
Oh, I am yours

I stand before you now….
and I accept your vows….

Take a Bow



Take a Bow
by Rhianna

Ohh, how about a round of applause
Yeah, standin' ovation
Oooh ohh yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah

You look so dumb right now
Standin' outside my house
Tryin' to apologize
You're so ugly when you cry
Please, just cut it out

And don't tell me you're sorry 'cause you're not
Baby when I know you're only sorry you got caught

But you put on quite a show
Really had me going
But now it's time to go
Curtain's finally closing
That was quite a show
Very entertainin'
But it's over now (but it's over now)
Go on and take a bow
Ohhh...

Grab your clothes and get gone (get gone)
You better hurry up before the sprinklers come on
Talkin' about, girl, I love you, you're the one
This just looks like a re-run
Please, what else is on (ohh)

And don't tell me you're sorry 'cause you're not
Baby when I know you're only sorry you got caught

But you put on quite a show
Really had me going
But now it's time to go
Curtain's finally closing
That was quite a show
Very entertainin'
But it's over now (but it's over now)
Go on and take a bow

Ohh, and the award for the best liar goes to you
For making me believe that you could be faithful to me
Let's hear your speech out

How about a round of applause
A standin' ovation

But you put on quite a show
Really had me going
Now it's time to go
Curtain's finally closing
That was quite a show
Very entertainin'
But it's over now (but it's over now)
Go on and take a bow

But it's over now...

Sunday, November 16, 2008
This day in history from:

Things that happened

Actually, I had a blog post yesterday but I am still deciding whether I will publish it.

But yesterday, I got Bea's grades. Not bad. Improved a lot and I'm grateful for that.

But apart from the bad Friday, there was also a bad yesterday, as I saw my big deal fall apart before my very eyes. I hope we can salvage the situation next week, as hope is the only thing we have at this point.

And to top it all of, choir was another thing that did not happen yesterday. The choir was called away on a seminar in the parish church and I could not go with them on account of my bum foot.

But my foot's a lot better now. I can even walk straight with only minimal pain.

So next week will hopefully be a better week than this one. I'm glad this week is about to end.

I'll also decide sooner or later whether I'll publish that post I made yesterday. The subject is a bit sensitive. But I've already emailed that to my closest friends to get their advise on the matter.

Here's to a... better week ahead. And enjoy what's left of this week.

Saturday, November 15, 2008
This day in history from:

Second thoughts, second class

A point was driven home to me yesterday and I have come to a realization.

I'm a marginalized, second class citizen where I am now.

Yes, I don't bring in the big bucks. Someone else has that role.

And with that comes the "perks." My cases are second priority. And my "biggest" clients get shafted at my expense. So basically, I still do most of the work alone for my own cases, and then be expected to clean up after the others, especially for those who deliver the big bucks. And I'm even expected to prioritize the "big money" cases over my own "small time" cases.

For a while, that seemed to work for me. I was contented in playing the second-class partner.

But there are signs that this status will be driven home in my face even more in the days to come. The signs are, as the cliche goes, written all over the walls of our new office.

So now, I'm really at this classic crossroads: be the proverbial "big fish in a small pond" or the "small fish in a big pond."

That's a big one. But let me think about it.

On the one hand, being the small fish has been financially rewarding. But the disparity is beginning to be discouraging.

On the other hand, I have survived being a solo practitioner for many years before joining a firm again. Not so financially rewarding, but there is no feeling of being marginalized, from the office furniture to the office attire.

So what do I do now? Let me think about it some more... but I think you know where I am leaning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008
This day in history from:

Work in progress

Reported for a full work day today.

Yes, my foot is still aching. But my partners were not helping to make it better. One of them kept bumping into my foot during our meeting. Then when I saw his foot about to bump again, I managed to move it away, only to hit the table in the process. Ouch!

I managed with the pain this day. But I still could not report to my consultancy because of the ordeal my foot has to go through to get there. I may attempt to go there tomorrow.

But we got to visit our new office and its getting there. Now, I have to figure out what furniture and appliances I would take in and how much it will cost. That's still a work in progress.

That's it for now. I have some work to do. But perhaps I'll adopt the same strategy of sleeping early and then waking up early morning to complete the job. Just too tired today.

But at least, I got out of the house.

PS. Here's a video walk-through of our new office, which is still under construction:


Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This day in history from:

Better

So my foot is feeling better now. But I still can't report to my consultancy just yet because I don't know if my foot can take the abuse of parking at the nearby mall, walking a significant distance through an overpass to cross EDSA and do it again going back. So, I'll probably do it tomorrow.

It's so hard to be stuck at home on account of a disability. I don't have a fever and aside from the pain I encounter when I walk, I otherwise feel fine.

Did some work here, the things that I can accomplish through the wonders of the internet.

I actually have a hearing today, but I can't attend that for the same reason.

These are the times that I feel the lowest. Not because of the sickness per se (by itself). I have a high threshold for pain. It's more of the feeling alone, with no one to tend to me.

There, I said it. But I think that could be solved by hiring a caregiver, which is probably my strategy when I'm very old.

Anyway, I'll try to rest some more. But I have some errands to do today. I'll try to show up at my office a little later. There's no long and arduous walk involved in that.

Monday, November 10, 2008
This day in history from:

Mail Call

Since I'm writhing in pain from my gout, I thought I just post some pictures I got from the mail. These are mostly church announcements from foreign countries:




Hope this cheers you up!

Sunday, November 09, 2008
This day in history from:

What welcome?

Before we even think of allowing the former Thai Prime minister entry into our country, remember what he said about our country when he was still in power.

Our immigration authorities should deny him entry for being persona non grata (or even persona ingrata?), unless a shake down is afoot, or we would really benefit from his riches.

Saturday, November 08, 2008
This day in history from:

Chamber Break

There were tons of work yesterday, but the not-so-good news is the government agency where I have a consultancy can no longer afford me. So it's either there will be a drastic change in arrangements for next year or I may have to give this up.

I don't know what will happen to that and there will still be developments next week. But I think I already see the exit door in this one.

This will be the end of my stint in government as I have vowed to immerse myself in private practice after this. I'm actually there, believe it or not, to help the one that got me there, to help him stay out of trouble. If legal and budgetary constraints will prevail, I cannot force myself into an impossible situation. I will still help him, though, but only in a private, limited capacity.

Fortunately, the firm has a lot of big prospects that are about to bear fruit this month, making the financial contribution of that consultancy irrelevant. And I am truly grateful for that.

Anyway, I got a lot of practice shots in that consultancy's office and I found a lot of willing subjects. They were utterly surprised what difference a superior camera makes. Then, they promptly posted these pictures in their respective Facebook accounts.

I just finished our chamber session and yes, I'm back to my first love for today: playing the flute. I'm also glad we already have a cellist. And I'm equally surprised what difference a cello makes in our chamber group. It's simply magical.

Got to rest up for choir later this evening. I'll post something later... probably...

Thursday, November 06, 2008
This day in history from:

President-Elect Barack Obama's Victory Speech


Image grab from http://www.china.org.cn/international/uselection2008/2008-11/05/content_16716552.htm
(fair use invoked)

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

(text grabbed from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/3383581/Barack-Obamas-victory-speech-Full-text.html)

Self-Portrait


Seems like every blogger/budding photographer has one of these shots. So I decided to jump on the bandwagon.

I anticipate that with more practice and better lenses (and perhaps a studio set-up), this portrait will improve. I'll try to do this shot every time I get better or get better gear.

Yes, I did not forget to flip the image when I posted it. I obviously used a rather large mirror for this one. And I did not use a flash so the image will not look drowned.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008
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The Mac is Back

I forgot to mention yesterday that no less that the Mac attended the hearing I had nearby. My partner says that it's a sign of... never mind. Our office blogging policies prevents me from saying anything further.

And remember that MacBook Pro I was talking about yesterday?

Well, my brother-in-law could not resist the offer and still bought it. Anyway, I am in no position to refuse since it's his money that he was spending. Very disappointed but that's life.

Got to go now. Tomorrow may be a big day.

Let me leave you with Barack Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. I thought then that this guy was the future of the Democratic Party. And boy was I right. I'm just surprised he rose so high in such so short a time.

Congratulations, America! I think you made a fine choice.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008
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Deal breaker

I got a call late night yesterday from my brother-in-law because there was someone offering him a 17" MacBook Pro for a steal. He wanted me to check it out with him at a nearby coffee place.

I was about to sleep at the time but I felt a sense of duty to help him out. So I got there and saw this pristine laptop (almost never used). It was the old model MacBook Pro, of course, but it looked great. It was running OS X Tiger instead of Leopard, but that's easily remedied.

And for the price, I would have bought it if I had the money yesterday.

So it was just a matter of checking with an Apple retailer the laptop's serial number to make sure it's not stolen. It was, essentially, done deal. To invoke a metaphor, we already put our initials on the memorandum of agreement.

But when we all parted ways for the night, my brother-in-law noticed the car the seller was driving. He was driving the SUV of a person that personally wronged me in the past in a huge way. Let's just say he ranks among the persons I would not associate with, even with a hazmat suit.

That guy is dead now. Died of lung cancer and I have to say, I likewise exercised my right to withhold my sympathy and prayers for this guy. My blood still boils when I think about what he has done to me and my dad.

So of course, that alone was a deal breaker. Not even that very fine computer and that price will be enough for me (and even my brother-in-law) to help that guy's family, who are probably innocent of the shenanigans he did when he was alive. But on second thought, they are not so innocent at all, because they benefited from the fruit of this dead guy's antics.

And even if we bought that computer, it would be full of bad vibes.

And one final thought about that before I completely drop it (for I don't want to attract any more negative thoughts): Karma has a way of balancing things out. He really had what was coming when he got sick. And now that his family are disposing assets just to keep afloat, they are likewise suffering for what he had done, not only to me but to others,as he had a notorious reputation.

And for that, I am still grateful.

Monday, November 03, 2008
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Back to work

I started the day late but ended the workday just now.

Spent a few hours on my consultancy and on to the lawyers meeting that did not happen last Friday. It was pretty straightforward but we realized the schedule was so tightly-packed for this week.

And I'm also on call for that big deal I'm expecting this week.

Anyway, I had this Halloween thought today when I saw this video/image of Barack Obama and his youngest daughter doing the candy rounds:



When they showed up at somebody's doorstep for trick or treat, the person in the house probably said, "Man, that's a good costume! You look just like Barack Obama! Can you take off your mask?"

Just a thought.

Sunday, November 02, 2008
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Cemetery Run, second day

Just got back from the second day of our weekend-long cemetery run.

This time, it was our turn to visit my paternal aunt and her husband, my maternal grandparents, the husband of my maternal aunt, and that dear friend.

The visit to my maternal relatives was ordinary fare. It's another chance for my mother to get together with her sisters, which is not a rare occasion.

But this is the first time I would visit my dear friend on this day of remembrance. I took Bea with me because she's my friend's goddaughter. Unfortunately their family's mausoleum was locked and we just got a glimpse of her.

Fortunately, we were not alone. We met her cousin there, with her family. But since the doors were locked, we did not stay for long.

Bea and I left early because she has an overnight birthday party at a nearby hotel. My sister scolded me for allowing her to attend but I let her attend, anyway. It's still her vacation time.

That also gave me a good reason to leave early and beat the traffic slowly building up at the cemetery. It appears that people prefer to flock the place starting late afternoon to the evening because of this unusually hot weather we are having at this time of year.

Anyway, I'm back home now, blogging and resting for the busy week ahead. Unlike my kids, I don't have a semestral break. It will also be another crucial week ahead so I better end this entry. Oh, it's also a crucial week for the world also, because of the 2008 US Presidential Elections.

Again, have a safe and meaningful weekend.

Saturday, November 01, 2008
This day in history from:

Condensation

We had our annual trip to Laguna to visit our dearly departed there.

My dad's ancestral house used to be the hub of activity around this time. But with most of our relatives (paternal) immigrating out of the country, we were actually the last ones coming to the the provinces.

And instead of the feast usually held there, we just ate at a good place nearby.

I tried to let off some shots in the restaurant, but I ran into some condensation problems, coming from a cold SUV into a hot outdoor place. Fortunately, I fixed that in time to take some very good shots.

I'm depending my 50mm standard lens a lot. I think it's the best lens I have. My other two lenses (the 18-55mm kit lens and my 55-250mm telephoto zoom lens) produces good shots but my 50mm lens, with its f/1.8 aperture takes dramatic pictures. And because it's my lightest and shortest lens, it's the one always on the camera. I just change the lens when I need the two for a wider angle or a zoom shot.

Now, I think I have to buy better lenses.

Anyway, we made the rounds there and left for home at a few minutes past 5:00 p.m. I thought I would not make it on time for the 7:00 p.m. mass but fate smiled today. I made it home with about 15 minutes to spare.

Unfortunately, I did not get to warm-up or practice and it showed in my flute playing tonight. But I'm still grateful to have made it to mass on time.

For tomorrow, it will be the day we visit my maternal relatives (those who have departed, of course) and the dear friend we lost last February. Fortunately, they are all just located in Marikina, so there is no out-of-town trip tomorrow.

I have to rest now. I hope you had (or continue to have) a meaningful weekend.

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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