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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My "Big Day Out" Experience

Big Day Out Melbourne was a blast. I couldn’t say more but be at awe with the acts. Rage Against the Machine, Silverchair, Grinspoon and Bjork have been amazing and standing there the whole time, getting burnt, wet and bashed, was all worth it.

This experience has changed me the way I see concerts on DVDs. Being there at the Blue Stage for Rage Against the Machine was totally crazy. I did enjoy the band but I just can’t stand the crowd. “Bulls On Parade” just did it all for me as people were getting out for their lives. The “mosh pit” was so cruel that only the strong and big could survive. My experience of getting through the crowd for “Rage” has been a hell of an effort. I never enjoyed Silverchair as I was amongst the crowd, waiting to get in the Blue Stage. No space wasted as no fart can escape. Skin to skin, I was with the Aussies. Color, religion, gender or social status has never been an issue. All were for the chance to see Rage Against the Machine.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures and videos I have taken.






Sunday, January 27, 2008

...getting ready for Big Day Out

Few hours to go and its BIG DAY OUT - MELBOURNE.

I already had my things for the day and I’m excited. I had my alarm set on 5:30 AM as Julian will be picking me up at 7 AM to take the early train.

Time to recharge.

Printable Version (Schedule)

Printable Version (Map)

Australia Day 2008

I woke up like 10 in the morning and did all that I could do before going to Geelong Waterfront for the Australia Day celebrations. I’ve heard so much about it and it was about time to witness it by myself.

The sun was so fierce so I went out at about 2 pm with my ever trusty rusty bike. I had it filled with air and went up and down to the city (I have to traverse over the hill and down to the city)

The bay was full of people. Lots of booths, food and packed with yachts. There were also stages for performers and tents for everyone to stay and relax.

The celebration would be going until Monday and the bay would be hosting a lot of activities. I’ll be back tomorrow as auntie and I will be at Smorgies which is at the bay for our friends’ baptism/confirmation/wedding celebration.

So much for now as I’ll be early tomorrow. Enjoy the pix.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Big Day Out...Here We Come!!!

I never had a good rest since I came back from Tasmania as I’ve been doing documentations and some support to our Melbourne client.

It has been a struggle squeezing some time doing work, chores and personal stuff. My room’s a mess and hopefully I could recover from all of these. Anyway, weekend’s coming and I’m just excited for the Australia Day celebrations.

I’m glad that Monday’s going to be a holiday as me and my mates would be going to Melbourne for the Big Day Out. I’m really thankful for Julian for exerting so much effort in securing a ticket for me. He’s such a good person.

...and I say, "Present!!!"

Anyway, it’s getting late as I have to prepare my “baon” and retire to bed. My new “Ironman” 1960s classic DVD, which I got the other day from eBay, would be a good thing to watch before I sleep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

...back from Tasmania

…And finally, I’m back.

Though I was at Tasmania since Saturday to do work, I’m lucky to have a free glimpse for a future holiday getaway. We had worked a lot in documenting and interconnecting offices from 3 Tasmanian sites to the Melbourne office. There’s not much time to go places but in a way, I’ve learned much about the place and experience in having work with the Aussies.

We left for Hobart at about 8:30 AM, Saturday at Tullamarine Airport via Virgin Blue. The trip was approximately 1 hour and it was an agonizing landing for me. I was experiencing so much pain on my left ear as I try to comfort myself by opening my mouth. I even thought that it might blow but I was thankful that I survived the ordeal. Anyway, as soon as we arrived at Hobart, we got our car and drove straight to our client’s Hobart site.

A glimpse of Hobart.

Hobart was a great place. Driving around was so easy as there’s not much traffic. We also had our GPS navigation device to guide us through. I even thought we could stay more but things just didn’t allow us. After 5 hours of doing work, we left for Launceston to do the same thing.

Our car for the Tassie trip

It was a boring 2 hour drive as I tried not to sleep at the back seat. My boss was trying to cheer me up by looking around for the wild Tasmanian devil on Aussie roads. The drive just made everything worst as rain blocked some good spots.

At about 6 PM, we arrived at Launceston and did things so fast. We were there for almost an hour and went to the city center to look for a place to sleep.

Well, the place was great; Had TV, good bathroom, mini office and a comfy bed. But for a price of approximately AU$ 200+ per room a night, it was way expensive. We only had 10 hours so I used all the spare towel to justify the price.

Finishing some documentation

emote emote hehe

a view from my window

another view

And in the morning of Sunday, we went about 35 min to stop over a good café (etc – Elizabeth town bakery café) for breakfast. I had the best pie so far and it was a day to start for Devonport.

I love this place

We arrived at Devonport at about 11 am and went straight to work. It was a bit hard since the requirements seem to require us for more and the site has more computers compared to Hobart and Launceston. Our boss left for Melbourne the following afternoon as we finished everything for the day at about 7 pm.

With a population of 25,000, there’s not much to see and explore on Devonport. Though we had the luxury of choosing the best place to stay, there were only a handful of decent places to choose. We just stayed on a hotel near the river which was in a way, good.

Most of the restaurants and shops were closed but we were lucky to have found “La Porchetta” on a late dinner. I had grilled fish with steamed veggies to end the day.

Monday was busy. We had to stay and answer all the queries we had implemented. I’m glad that people tend to understand the setup and in a way, making our tasks easier. I’ve also learned not to have orange juice for breakfast as it gave me a hard time getting through the day. I got some “boiling” reaction on my belly as acid reacts on acid. So, no orange juice if there’s no food on brekky.

We were done earlier and decided to drive around town for dinner. After few rounds, we have found “Sharkies”. The menu seems to entice our buds and it never failed to satisfy our hunger. Zoran and I got the special for the day, Calamari with chili sauce on rice, with vegetable salad and chips.

After dinner, we also went to this “Penguin’s” place as the waitress tried to help us on what’s around Devonport. We arrived late but promised to be back as penguins were not available that time.

Not bad for AU$21.00

The "Spirit of Tasmania" from "Sharkies'" window

And this morning, it was just a normal day and double checked the setup. We left at around 12 NN and stopped at "etc" for our last lunch at Tasmania. As usual, etc has the best pies in Tassie. The toasted chicken wraps just made my day.

We arrived at Launceston airport at around 3:30 PM and left for Melbourne at around 4:30 PM.

Anyway, I hope to be back at Tassie soon as I just want to see of it more through its Tasmanian Devil, the Penguins and the good nature trips.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ready to Go

And I’m done with my packing. I just have to be early tomorrow as I have to be in the office before 6:30 AM. I don’t know to what airport we would be going as there are 2 domestic airports near Geelong. One is at Avalon and the other is at Tullamarine.

Anyway, I hope to get some time to blog when I get there.

...for your contributions

For your contributions in helping the operation for Capt. Mercado, you can send it through the group's Treasurer, John Callo on PNB Account No. 3355491691

Thank you very much.

Update on Capt. Mercado : Jan 17 - 18, 2008

Just this morning, I got an update from John Oliver Valmoria on "Saving Capt. Gavino Mercado, Jr.'s" operation.

Anyway, here's his message, as posted.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Everybody,

Yesterday, the C130 finally arrived at
Davao. We were waiting there since 11
am. The plane arrived around 1 pm with
all the colors of the PAF to welcome it
since on board was the new Commanding
General and other high ranking
officials of the PAF.

There are 2 functional C130's out of
more than 10 we have. Major Honasan
informed us last Monday to ready the
team because they will be flying us
directly to Palawan.

It was first time for the 7 of us who
volunteered to this mission, to board a
C130. Unknowingly, after all the
officers disembarked and welcomed by
their troops... a few, rather several
soldiers and civilians alike were
hiding by the rear entry of the plane.
Probably around more than 30. Plus
there were more soldiers from Davao who
will be boarding with us. I was
wondering kung unsaon namo pag igo sa
likod.

Then the plane went across the runway
to refuel near the Davao international
airport tarmak. We were actually
positioned by the old airport.

Then multicab fetch me to go to the
airforce compound were the PAF CG and
other Officers were gathered. I was
introduced by Maj. Honasan to the new
CG Gen. Cadungog where an ABS CBN
reporter was also present.
The General was interviewed first then
me. After that I went back to the
waiting area by the runway.

After a few minutes of waiting, we can
hear the engine of the C130 starting
again. Then we overheard from the
soldiers: "negative shutdown!!!" I was
wondering what does it mean.

A field marshall lined up everybody for
boarding. The generals also emerged
from the field to prepare for boarding.
The Plane was finally positioned for
boarding with all 4 engines running. We
approached the plane from the rear so
that we will not be hit by the
propellers. We could feel the power and
extreme heat coming out from the
engines. Yun pala ang negative
shutdown. As we approach the ramp, it
was already full of soldiers. Pero side
lang, dutdot gihapon. Then we saw that
there were already a lot of passengers
inside who didn't disembarked during
the refuel. basin mahutdan og lugar.

Murag mig mga sardinas naguot sa sulod,
nagtindog. there's not even a space for
your feet to move. Dapat dili jud nimo
isaka ang imong tiil og dugay kay
sigurado naay laing tiil mupuli. Ing
ana kaguot. It was very funny
experience. Next time ko nalang idetail
ang uban. hehehe.

Anyway, after 2 hours of standing
position... finally we landed at Puerto
Princesa Airport. After the welcome
band for the generals, we disembarked
and welcomed by Capt. Maynard Mariano.
Classmate of SK Gavino. We are now
housed at ADAC (Air Defense Action
Center) where SK Gavino was also
stationed. We had an orientation on the
facilities and security protocol og the
area.

This morning, the Capt. made a thorough
briefing of what actually happened. He
showed us the details of rescue mission
that was made. Just as I thought, most
of our speculations were not accurate
and far from the truth. The Airforce
did exhaust all their capabilities to
conduct search and rescue operations.
It just wasn't made public. And they
only didn't lost 2 pilots that day.
There were several about more than 30
fisheremen who were gone missing.

He showed us the flight path and last
point of contact. Then he showed the
areas that were searched by joints
efforts coming from the PCG, navy,
airforce, and US PT Orion.

There could be a hundred of
possibilities of what actually happened.
But they didn't find antything. SK is
MIA(missing in action). So this boils
down to the possibility that he
probably went down by the Mountainous
areas of Palawan. It could be on the
Protected areas of Mt. Matalinghagan or
the Victotia Peaks and Mt. Aborlan. We
don't actually now.

This morning we discussed our plan of
actions. An officer from the
intelligence group also came to brief
us on the safety and security
situations on Palawan.

Yes, there are some unfriendly forces
here, like armed illegal loggers,
NPA's, Abu Sayaf, and etc.

But the most deadly enemy known
to them are the mosquitos. Luckily, we
already had our antimalaria
pills taken last week.

This morning also, we went to a nearby
health center to ask for pills
Felariasis. So, for short, we have
already taken some safety measures
for these scenarios.

We will but provisions tomorrow. We
will be tracking the coastal road
by the easts side of Palawan. Starting
from Aborlan, narra, Up to
brooke's point. We will stop a t each
munisipyo for information
dessimination. We expect to do this in
3 days then back to the base
after for resupply. We will then Go the
other side of the island,
particulary at Quezon, then go south.

After all coastal areas have swept, we
decide and plan on going up to
the villages near Mt Aborlan and
Victorias Peak. The forest on this
areas are very dense. And there are a
lot of tribesmen living on
these areas.

I will update you again toworrow ladies
and gentlemen.
Thank you!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bad Girl !@#$%^&*

!@#$%^&*

We drove like an hour to Melbourne just to buy the Big Day Out tickets from a lady we contacted at eBay. She posted it like $300 for 2 tickets. We were excited and agreed to pick the ticket.

To everybody’s dismay, she was selling it like $300 a piece. My friend Julian just showed her eBay Ad through his iPhone and the sick lady just walked out.

Rarrrr!!! !@#$%^&*

Anyway, we are still hunting for more. We have a week to go. I hope things will be ok.

Driving for Tickets

Julian and I would be driving to St. Kilda, Melbourne later after office to get our tickets for Big Day Out on January 29, 2008.

Tickets are SOLD OUT so we purchased them at eBay. Though a little bit pricey, it’ll be worth it as Rage Against the Machine would be there.

...and the countdown begins...

BDO 2008 Lineup

Getting ready for Hobart and Launceston (Tasmania)

And finally, it’s confirmed. I’ll be having a busy weekend ahead, spilling over Monday and Tuesday.

We just had our meeting and I’ll be going with my boss and my officemate to few of our client’s site at Tasmania, their Hobart and Launceston offices. We will be setting up VPN, network policies, scripts and everything needed to get things connected and running to their Melbourne office.

Though getting away for Tasmania is fun as I’ve been planning to have adventure trips soon, it will be all work. I hope there could be "side trips" and try to explore Australia from its small brother, away from the mainland.

And tonight, I’ll be preparing my things to ease some pressure of last minute changes.

I also made my checklist and hopefully to secure them all by tonight

1. iPod, charger and earphones
2. iPod Shuffle
3. PSP, charger and Tekken
4. Memory Stick (with Strangebrew Episodes and Pinoy Music Videos)
5. Digicam with Spare Batteries and charger
6. Slacks
7. Jeans
8. 4 T-Shirts
9. 3 Long Sleeve Polo Shirt (calling Iron Man)
10. 2 Boxers 5 Undies
11. Sunnies
12. Kikay Kit hahaha (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouth wash, Floss, Sunscreen, Deo, Foot Spray)
13. Towel
14. Mini Size Chocolates and Mints
15. Chinese Mint Stick
16. Tsinelas
17. Socks

I’m excited for inter office/inter state connectivity and hopefully, new discoveries.




A long way to Tasmania.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ayos!!! I won!!!

I’m so happy right now. In a way, I have found a way to get things into eBay.

I started eBay few months ago since it was hard getting into bank accounts and transactions back home. Philppines was not ready yet until recently. I’ve been into Marvel related merchandise, and so far, I have collected the things that I have been searching. And just this time, I was able to win another bid for Iron Man’s 1960s cartoons on DVD.

Anyway, I just have to fix my things, prepare my “baon” for tomorrow and check my laundry.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

...and I was busy

I never thought I could be that busy for the weekend. Though I am used to doing all my usual weekend activities (laundry, iron, cleaning etc.), I felt relieved and happy with my “modified” schedule.

I used to do my laundry Saturday morning but I decided to have it done after Friday night dinner. After an hour of washing, I hanged it dry and did the ironing on Saturday morning. I was done at about 1 pm and helped auntie in cleaning the verandah. I arranged the things, wiped all the dusts, swept the floor, get rid of the cobwebs and helped cooked the dinner. With that, we were all done early as I had more time to do what I have been thinking of trying, using the sewing machine.

Since I had a pair of pants that has to be hemmed, I borrowed aunt’s mother-in-law’s sewing machine. For hours, I’ve been trying to search on the internet about the machine but never had the luck of getting it worked as it supposed to.


My new toy for the weekend.

I decided to search at YouTube and was glad to see some videos on inserting the thread and placing the bobbin. Though it looks so easy, I really had a hard time getting into the machine. I also did some tests but threads were running wild. No luck and never hemmed my pants.


Spooling the bobbin.

Finally, i was able to retrieve the thread from the bobbin.

Sunday was church day and in a way, “lazy”. Auntie and I also paid a visit to my cousins as we brought them a bag of rice, ice cream and dried fish. I also cooked “Tinola “for dinner.


If Google is my friend, YouTube is my best friend.

I also decided to get back into sewing as I can’t stop from thinking of having my pants hemmed. Auntie helped me in operating the machine and finally, I was done doing it. I made some “invisible” stitches and it’s ready to be worn.

With more time left, I prepared my “baon” for tomorrow and checked my mails.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Saving Capt. Mercado

Though I’m late for the news, I am very sad to hear of what had happened to our friend, a brother scout and a graduate of Davao City High School, Capt. Gavino Mercado Jr. (PMA Class ’99). He was the lead pilot of the Philippine Air Force’s S2-11 aircraft which was sent to the Spratly Islands last November 26, 2007, in search for 26 Filipino crewmen’s capsized fishing vessel. (news links here / Google search results here)

Up to this date, they have remained “missing” as no trace of whatsoever or reason of their “loss”. No bodies found, no breadcrumbs to trail.

I was able to receive a message from our friend, Dr. Jake V. Valeroso that our brothers in scouting have organized a team to search for Capt. Mercado. With some help from our friends, the team was also able to arrange a flight to Palawan with the C-130 plane on Saturday.

The team would be headed by John Oliver Valmoria and every kind of help would be very much appreciated

You can contact John Oliver Valmoria at +63.920.9546897 and +63.921.5391176.

Thank you very much and we are not losing hope.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Skype on PSP

Finally, my home PC is online. I was having some problems with it so I decided to have it re-installed. I went to bed at about 2 AM, waiting for the installation to be done.

Anyway, I’m very happy reading that PSP would be supporting SKYPE in the next few weeks. Sony would be releasing another firmware update and I’m just excited to have it installed. I hope decent add-ons would be available in time of the firmware release. I am also thinking of having our Wi-Fi hotspot extended/amplified as our router is being housed inside uncle’s workroom, which is made up of industrial thick steel.

So much for now as I would be doing my laundry.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Hey! I’m not McDonald.

After almost 2 years of wearing my leather shoes to work, it finally retired. Though I can have it repaired, the repairman would be charging like AUS $ 100.00. That’s way to expensive compared to the repair shops back home. That’s like buying an iPod Shuffle.

So, I went to shoe shops in the city and it’s was a struggle juggling between factors. Things like price, quality, comfort and design. I didn’t have that much choice as shops in Geelong are limited compared to Melbourne.

Anyway, it was very funny when I asked for my size for fitting. I got something that’s bigger than my usual. I almost forgot that they are using the UK size chart. So, if you are wearing size 8, get size 7 instead.

I just can’t forget how the sales lady was laughing when I was fitting the shoes.


What's in my bag?

I just can’t sleep and in a way, I am doing things just to make me tired. I have already done my ironing and prepared my clothes for tomorrow.

With nothing much to do and still waiting to retire for bed, I have decided to do some organizing with my bag. I have unplugged my iPods and PSP from recharging, chucked the lolly wrappers and removed all the coins from the inner pocket.

Looking at my bag, I have realized how these things were always with me as I go to work or just go around somewhere. These have become a part of me and it has been my thing of getting into these while doing my work. I sometimes play music videos on the background or listen to my tunes or play with the machines with my iPod Shuffle as my diagnostic tool.

For some, they would be outdated but I’m just happy that they are roadworthy to be with my daily adventures.

My glasses, Train schedules, iPod 4th Gen 20GB, PSP Slim, 3M Cloth, Ear Plugs, Chinese Mint Sticks, Gum, Floss, Senns, Keys, iPod Shuffle 1st Gen 1 GB, Wallet

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Fun night at Avalon Raceway

We left home almost 5 PM and went to Avalon Speedway. It was meeting no. 8 and tonight’s show featured ASCF Juniors, Super Sedans, demolition derby and of course, Super Rods. This was my 3rd time to watch Aussie racing and 2nd time in Avalon Speedway. I was with auntie, uncle, Robert and his girlfriend, Jessie.

The race went well with some bumps along the way. Muds were flying into the audience as cars were drifting through the curve. Kids near my seat were able to make clay balls out of it. Super Sedans were so loud and the ASCF Juniors just make some sleep. It’s just funny that auntie was one of them.

Super Rods came and it was really nice to see Adrian’s car winning the race. Though I only had his car number cut, it just felt good being a part of it.

Demolition derby was also fun. Cars bump each other as they try to dominate the raceway. Dusts has been covering the view but in a way, tried to get into the drama. I really did enjoy the "war".

It was a fun night and I hope Robert’s Super Rod would be racing soon.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Designing Super Rods

Finally, the vinyl stickers that I made the other night were placed on Adrian’s super rod. I’m happy that he liked it as it compliments his car’s body. He’ll race tomorrow and uncle has been planning of getting us there at Avalon. There would also be super sedans, smashing each other on the main event.

I don’t know what to do with our super rod as I find it hard getting into uncle’s choice of colors. I hope things will turn out nice as I really want it to shine.

I also hope that I could test drive the car as it really feels good being behind the wheel. hehe


Our vinyl cutter.

Numbers for Clint and Adrian

Adrian's Super Rod


Thursday, January 03, 2008

gestures = indicators?

Years ago, I used to be interested about gestures. They are in a way, an indicator to how people are on certain situations. I forgot about it as I got distracted to other things and tend to retract to some of its realizations.

Just this afternoon, I was at our client’s server room, trying to solve the problem with their network. The ISA seems to work when everything just turned dodgy. I had exhausted all the possible solutions and had to call for backup. Since we were on skeletal staff, my boss responded to the call.

He also checked the settings as I was closely paying attention to his stuff. After a few workarounds, we decided to call it a day as we just can’t ping outside of the network with prescribed settings. We have discussed the situation until he called my attention of not to put my hand in my pocket, in front of the clients. That it’s not good as it denotes apathy.

I don’t know but I was paying attention as this client would be my “baby”. I will be closely monitoring its network as I will be doing periodic reports and respond to users’ queries.

The reason why I was putting my hand in my pocket was, I’ve been there for approximately 2 hours, inside the server room of approximately 10 sq. m., with the airconditioner set at 18ºC, dressed in a micro-fiber shirt.

So, I guess, the only choice that I have was to turn down the aircon or take off my hands from my pocket when somebody’s around.

And maybe, I also have to get into some “neutral” gestures as I don’t want to be “loud” with my boss’ standard.

Is FPJ not paying attention to the people, “shootings” or his presidential campaign when he does his trademark, hand in his pocket pose?

Nahhhh!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

iPod Reset: Getting Ready for 2008

Ever since I got my iPod (20 GB, 4th Gen) when it came out, it has been my thing of checking my stats and doing resets to its Play Count and Skip Count at the end of the year. Checking my iPod stats for 2007 tells me that I’ve been listening to In Flames and Arch Enemy that much. I always listen to them when I commute to work or when I did some jogging before Frisbee. I’ll be changing my tunes in a few days as I have to switch between artists. 20 GB used to be big but my library is growing. I’m laying my eyes on iPod Classic for its massive capacity.

So much for now as I have to sleep early.

Detailed iPod 2007 Stats.

...starting my 2008

Its 2008 and time has really moved so fast. I’ve been trying to remember the events and looking back just makes me wonder how things have been doing since I left home.

Last night, we had a video chat with my family and its feels so good that they are all happy. I’ve seen my cousins, aunties, nephews, nieces and cousins and we were all silly. The laughter and the closeness just made me feel sad and empty.

I have finally missed our yearly reunion. I just can’t believe that my sisters and cousins have their own family and their babies are so cute. All I did was stare at the screen and lived for that moment.

I went to bed at around 4 AM and woke up at around 12 NN. Not much of a fuss. The surroundings had this deafening silence and the weather’s still hot. I had my breakfast at noon and did my ironing with Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes Vol. 2 on the background. I’m still waiting for the weather to be cool as I’ll be doing the “cutting” for the car numbers for the 2 super rods.

Anyway, I’ll prepare my stuff as I’ll be back to work for tomorrow. I’m archiving my tunes from my iPod and will be doing my annual iPod Play Count Reset.

Again, Happy New Year!!!