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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking back on my 2008

Few days from now and the New Year will start to roll. Thinking about my 2008 makes me wonder how in blue hell did I breezed through the year. It was so fast that I almost lost track of time.

Looking back, these are some of the things that I should say made a mark for my 2008.

1. My first trip to Tassie. Though I was there for work, I tried my best to explore Tasmania whenever I had the opportunity. Hobart was special. The old buildings just make you feel special. Launceston was sort of an outback. I felt sleepy exploring it. And Devonport was some sort of a ghost town. It’s like a scene on a western/cowboy movie minus the cowboy hats. With limited time, I failed to see the Tasmanian Devil and the penguins at the Penguin Island. Hopefully, I’ll be back to explore more.




2. Big Day Out 2008 – I used to dream about getting into this festival when I was in high school and I told myself to work hard and experience the fun with the people and the music. After years of imagining myself into it, I was finally able to go and experience my dream. The bodies bumping each other just to get a good view of the performers was spectacular. I didn’t imagine myself getting through “Rage Against The Machine” crowd. It was the best, thinking I am small to go through the Big crowd. I didn’t pass out and it was all worth it. Slamming with the fans was such a hell of a ride that I decided to go out after the first song. At least, it was only me in my group who made it to the “Rage Against The Machine” crowd.





3. World Youth Day 2008 - I never thought of getting into this until my girlfriend had a volunteer slot for this event. We were supposed to meet here in Geelong/Melbourne when things went on a roller coaster. We have to see each other before she goes back to New York on September. She had problems in getting her Australian visa until a blessing knocked on our doors. She got it through volunteering for World Youth Day 2008. Since she got her slot, I thought, why not get mine too. It was such a blessing as I got mine a week before the event, where most of the Aussie based applicants had a hard time getting theirs. Some even waited for at least 3 months. Everything went fine and it was the best 11 days to spend with my girlfriend. The pope was a rock star and it was nice to reaffirm my relationship with my girlfriend.



4. iPhone – With the worldwide release of the revolutionary iPhone 3G and having my dodgy phone for 4 years due for replacement, the most logical substitute would be the iPhone. It’s nice and I don’t have to bring my iPod and my mobile. It’s all in one. As of the moment, I could just lounge everywhere and chat with my friends over an IM client, blog, check emails, listen to my favourite tunes, watch videos or get my way through Google Maps and AroundMe. An essential for my kind of lifestyle.



5. Moving out - After a year and 3 months, I decided to get out from my aunt’s place and live on my own. I don’t have much savings but enough to get me through. It was hard but I’m lucky to have friends who really helped me in this transition. My new place is good and the housemates are great. I feel better staying here and there’s nothing I could ask for the moment. The peace of mind and the “freedom” are the best.



6. My driver’s license – I really thought I couldn’t make it as the passing rate for Learners’ in Victoria has dropped to 30%. I failed thrice as I always in a hurry. The test was very strict and they really had the eye on me. But a week before my 1st anniversary of being a Learner, I have finally got my Victorian Driver’s License. Though I could now get a car, I should be delaying it as I’m not ready yet to get into this crazy petrol prices, car maintenance, registration and other fees. Hopefully, by next year, I could get mine soon to be more mobile.

From Pinoy Kangaroo


Well, my 2008 is practically a preparation for my next journey. I may not able to understand some of the “in betweeners” but I believe that these are just fillers for my journey through life. I have more things to do and I look forward for my 2009. I know it will be a blast and I am excited to get things on a roll.

With the help of God and His grace and mercy, 2009, “Just Bring It On”!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

...trying to amuse myself

Not much drama for today as I was just at Melbourne, trying to burn some time. I have enough of staying at home; watching TV and it was such a struggle to amuse myself.

Anyway, I had spent the day better and actually had bought some shirt and a cap since it was Boxing Day sale. I’m happy with it and I’m proud that I was able to hold back my urge in buying some more items. As much as I would like a desktop speaker for my PC, I just have to delay it as I have to discipline myself from spending too much on unwanted items.

Stores are also smart asses as they try to sell items on usual prices with a higher price marked “X” beside as if it was the old price. Actually, when you check it closer with their previous catalogues, the prices have been the same for 2 months. Some old dirty tricks eh.

So, I went home, had dinner and made some root beer float. As Mat told me, its actually a Spider.

...getting ready

Root Beer Float AKA Spider

Thursday, December 25, 2008

...the worst Christmas, so far

This is my worst Christmas so far. Though I was in my aunt’s place this morning, I felt that I was not invited. I just dropped my gifts and went home. I was supposed to be at Uncle Rey’s place after that but I lost the desire of continuing Christmas.

Watching "Friends"


I returned home at around 11 am and turned on the Xbox. Chucked in the “Friends” DVD and watched some episodes while having my lunch. The chicken curry I had the other night was really handy. Some biscuits and chocs also helped me through the meal.

Christmas Lunch



Got bored with “Friends” and decided to watch “Spider-Man and Green Goblin”. I wasn’t really paying attention as I was actually trying to chat with my friends on my iPhone. I never got any good reply; just the common, “Merry Christmas” as if it was broadcasted over the instant messenger. They too were also busy.

After Spider-Man, I turned to Iron Chef America on SBS and slept through the episode. I was glad I did that. At least, I forgot that I was bored.

At around 5:30 pm, I decided to have Chinese for but realized that all the shops were closed. So, I came back and sliced some potato, fruits and prepared a slice of chicken breast for grilling. After few minutes, I got myself some potato wedges, fruit salad, boiled veggies and grilled chicken.

Christmas Dinner


I then washed the dishes and went back to the lounge room, surfing channels.

Not much on TV tonight so I had a shower and shaved my goatee.

*sigh. And at this time, I’m still trying to amuse myself to sleep.

What a Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

...my iPhone's new case

I tried some iPhone 3G cases before but I ended up using SwitchEasy’s CapsuleRebel. I bought it online from Rushfaster in Sydney and never looked back.

It has a nice grip and my iPhone is pretty much safe from scratch and whatever possible hostilities it might get. But after few months of using it, the bottom part got flimsy and started to shop around for some cases. Since I liked SwitchEasy and being voted as the best by iLounge for 2008, I decided to get their “Colors”. Again, I went online and checked its “specs”.

When I checked it on the SwitchEasy site, I noticed a “Contact Us” link and started asking if there would be some workaround regarding my CapsuleRebel. To my surprise, I got a reply the next day and was asked to take a photo of the fault and email them with my details as they would be sending another one. I was even asked to keep my existing one. I was really happy and complied with their request right away.

I almost didn’t get another one as they only ship to the US. But it was smart of them to get somebody from their HongKong office to send another CapsuleRebel for me. After few days, I got it on my mail and replaced the flimsy one.

This is one good company with a good product.

Monday, December 22, 2008

...4 days straight and exhausting.

It has been a hell of a ride since Thursday. I had like 4 drinking sessions and I’m somewhat exhausted.

First, it was the Christmas party for Corio Bay. It was fun as the theme was musical. Everybody was dressed and I really enjoyed it. Some dressed like Priscilla Queen of the Desert, casts from Chicago, the Blues Brothers, Grease, High School Musical, Wizard of Oz and so on.



I just had an afro as the kid from High School Musical (drunken version). I didn’t have much time to prepare but I guess when everybody is drunk, it really doesn’t matter.

My boss was dressed as Willy Wonka and turned the bus into the Wonka Bar. Roger just did a good job in making the PiƱa Colada as everybody was pretty much drunk before we arrived at the venue. All of us were at “Cloud 9”. I should say, I was a bit louder.

We partied all night long and even continued with some of the staff at the pub. We were rejected at Bended Elbow so we ended up at Home House. And right there, we just danced until 2 am.

Second was the “party” for ByteWay. Not as loud as the first one but I was drunk. Not much to talk about as it was all just “settling down”.

Third was at Uncle Rey’s place. I was just fixing his PC and he was serving me some champagne, wine and beer. I almost didn’t finish the task but it was a good way to spend the day outside home.

And lastly, at Robert’s place. I went straight after the mass and helped him with the “barbie”. It’s a bit hard as we had Johnny Walker and San Miguel Beer after it. We even had videoke which our friend, TonTon who just went louder. Its really fun having videoke with alcohol

SMB in Da Haus


Anyway, waking up this morning seems to be a struggle. Since I am officially on break, I just went further to sleeping and woke up late like 10 am. I should say, it was a bit of a drag but at least I was able to regenerate myself to tomorrow.

Hmmmm, I guess, I’ll be back on Christmas for some drinking with my cousins.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

...shopping for gifts, final tasks

Shopping for gifts online is fun but when you have to send it to New York, most of the US online shopping sites just bar you from continuing as they only allow shoppers with US addresses and US issued credit cards. It was really frustrating as good items on those sites can’t be seen from other sites for purchase.

Anyway, after a lot of “googling”, I was finally able to get into it through Amazon. Everything went smoothly and was able to place my order. Finally, I can now have a good night sleep.

Well, my day was busy as tasks just breezed in like they knew that the end is near. Laptops get dodgy, unseen issues and some last minute tasks which really went weird yet fun.

It was about one of the staff’s iBook G4 to be migrated to the new aluminium MacBook. The iBook G4 was on Mac OS X 10.4.8 and for it to do the migration, it has to update its migration assistant to get it rolling. The problem is, for it to be updated; it has to be at least version 10.4.11.

side by side: iBook G4, MacBook, Mac Server


Of course, I searched on it at the Apple site and for it to be updated to 10.4.11; you just have to update it from 10.4.8 then to 10.4.9 and to 10.4.10 and then to 10.4.11. That’s like 4 reboots and a lot of waiting. Talk about “Think Different”.

Well, lights out for now as it’ll be a long day tomorrow.

It’s Parteyyyyyy after work. Wooohoooooo!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

...start of the end

My Monday was quite unusual as it’s the start of the last week of school. I had some tasks in the first few hours but after lunch, I was practically pretending to be busy.

It’s not about dodging from tasks, I just feel uneasy when nothing is left for me to do. I just went online, read anything useful. And along the way, I’ve been struggling to stay awake. How exciting is that? hehe

I don’t know what to expect for tomorrow. I guess I just have to get myself into the flow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

...my new old guitar and rewarding myself

It has been a busy weekend; the usual chores plus some things that I should have done weeks ago. The thing is, unlike Davao, most of the shops here closes at 5 PM so, as much as I have to get things for whatever I might need, I just have to delay until Saturday.

I now have the teeny weeny part for my machine head. I’m glad that the boys at Music Den were able to supply me with their spare part which I was supposed to buy the whole set. They were also helpful to assist me to what set of strings and pick to get me started. And after minutes of attaching the part on the machine head, the guitar saddle, the strings and some help with TUNIC guitar tuner on my iPhone, I can now play the old guitar that was given to me by the school.



The string feels stiff and the 1st string just sound as if it was palm muted when being strummed. I guess I just have to do some adjustments. But other than that, the guitar is now playable. I did some AC/DC (Back In Black, Highway to Hell), Stone Temple Pilots (Plush, Creep), Alice In Chains (Heaven Beside You), Mad Season (River of Deceit), The Pixies (Here Comes Your Man) and The Youth (Multong Bakla, Takbo).

I’m finally home. I can now do something on my spare time. I should relearn some songs and techniques which I’ve been telling myself of ages ago. And now is the time.

I also bought some gifts for Christmas and rewarded myself with “Sanuk”.

This sandal is really kewl.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

...feeling celebrity

I never imagined getting my Australian driver’s license would be big news in my workplace. It’s like everywhere I go; anybody would just congratulate me like they’re so happy with my accomplishment.

I’m never used to this but along the way, it’s nice having friends being happy with what I have been through.

Just as I was about to leave, I saw this at the Staff room.



Now I know why everybody was on the hype. hahaha

...gettting into Tea

Last night was the best. I never imagined I could appreciate tea until we had our final Tao talk for the year.

I knew it would be great but never did I imagine that it would be about the “Tea”.

Well, we ran through the history of the tea and its types. Having learned that, it has changed my outlook on the tea bags at the supermarkets. Tea really has an interesting history and I’m just amazed to how tea should be.

Tea tasting followed and I really paid attention to the tea set and the way tea was prepared and served. For the test, we had 2 “shots” of red tea and 2 “shots” of green tea. I was really happy having found the oil on my tea. The green tea was truly green and the taste and the aroma just beat the ones on tea bags.

Having said that, I might go to OxFam at Westfield later after work.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Yeehaaa!!! I passed the Driving Test.

And finally, after few attempts and months of waiting, I can now legally drive here in Victoria.

The test was sort of tricky as they have changed their rules last July 2008. They have done it to make it sure that Learners can really drive safely. But other than that, I am happy that I have nailed it. I really felt good. Getting a green P was such a delight.

So, I can now start choosing a car. hehe

My old Learners' Permit and my Probationary License

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bad Apple

Having adored Apple products since I laid my hands on them years ago confused me with the kind of technical support they provide.

Yesterday, with some unknown reasons, one of the iMacs at the Music Room just produced a cloud of smoke. Luckily, Sandy was quick enough to get things under her control and contained the situation with such finesse.

Of course, having that story from her this morning, I called the Apple support and reported it to them. The staff was courteous and very friendly. And about almost 20 minutes on the phone trying to exchange information, I grew tired on it, trying to answer questions which I thought were irrelevant with time.

Imagine, questions like,
1. Is the machine busted? (What? Does the smoke make it look ok?)
2. What's the color of the smoke? Did you take a picture of the machine on smoke? (* Yeah, good idea, why didn't I think about that? Should I take a picture first before unplugging it and always have a camera ready?)
3. Did you have to crawl to grab the wire?" (sounds like terrorist attack. hehehe)
4. Would it be ok if some insurance inspector will assess the situation for further advice? (Ha? the iMac was on smoke. With the downtime we are going to experience, I just want to have the machine repaired or replaced)

I understand what they were trying to do as to identify and document some cases along the way but I really don't want to participate in the lengthy process of their procedure. It took us almost 45 min more on the phone trying to isolate things. Should they be doing that themselves and let us not worry about the fault and get the machines running? They’re cutting out some precious time here.

Unlike Lenovo, they don’t ask questions as extreme as these and their support is super fast.

I wonder, they promised to call me back before the day ends. Until now, never in blue hell did my phone ring.
Bad Apple.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Mabuhay Manny Pacquiao!!!

After an exhausting Saturday and a struggling Sunday picnic at Werribee, Manny Pacquiao’s win over the Golden Boy of Boxing just made me refreshed. I was practically torn between staying at home and going to the picnic but I just have to be at there as I have already set for it. But thanks to technology, I was able to get updates on my iPhone.

I’ve been repeatedly refreshing some websites for updates and it was a thrill getting the news. Chatting with some friends over IMs was also good as we were patiently waiting for the best fight of the Filipino people.

I guess, everyone seems to get into PacLand as it has bugged down with the amount of traffic it has served. I didn’t have much choice but to wait until I get home to watch the replay.

www.MannyPacquiao.ph was KOed


As soon as I get myself out of the car, I hurriedly ran upstairs and turned on my PC. I then searched for a site that hosts the replay. After a few minutes, www.Justin.tv has done it again.

It was great as the whole Filipino nation was cheering for Manny. Every punch was exciting, slowly cementing the Philippine’s pride to boxing history. After 8 rounds of boxing, Golden Boy’s corner threw the towel, signalling the start of the Philippine nation’s celebration.

I could just imagine the Pinoys everywhere in the world are. I myself can’t contain my excitement as my housemate hurriedly went up to my room as I was cheering so loud for Manny. He then was curious and couldn’t help but admire the Pinoy Boxing Superstar.

*sigh. Manny is really an inspiration. He just made the Pinoys proud.

courtesy of PhilBoxing.com


Mabuhay si Manny Pacquiao!!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

...wednesday morning

I woke up 30 min after my alarm. The sun was struggling to come out as the clouds tend to play with it. December is the start of summer in Australia but I guess, this is what they call, climate change.

I took a shower, got dressed and jumped to the kitchen to have by breakfast. Turned on my PC/TV and watched “Bandila” at SBS for a dose of Pinoy news. As usual, the Joc-Joc Bolante Case, the “Cha-Cha” and of course, Manny Pacquiao’s match against the Golden Boy on Sunday were heavily circulated. And with their Christmas themed features along the way, it never failed to remind me of my lonely Christmas celebration this year.

I’ll be just home, alone, maybe sitting everywhere to beat boredom. I might wake up late and sleep back to forget it. And again, I’m going to miss a lot this year but I swear I’ll be home soon to make up with lost times.

And going through the streets and malls with Christmas decors, I just can’t help but get teary eyed.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

...getting fit and consuming "Pinakurat"

For the past days, I was on the roll, trying to do things on limited time. I didn’t have much sleep and kept my body sore in doing push ups and sit ups as my housemate’s friend and trainer, helped me in strengthening my back.

I actually read some articles on the net on how to make someone else’s back strong and one of the equipment to help it solid was the exercise ball. So, I bought it last Friday and it was just right for last night’s impromptu session. It was simple and scientifically right. What I used to know was practically outdone with smarter and efficient method. So far, I could feel my back, tummy, chest and arms sore as I’ve done 40 push ups and 50 sit ups. I have to do that for 5 days straight and 4 times a week after. I hope this would get me fit.

I’m also happy of getting a lot of Pinakurat last Saturday. I enjoyed it and I think it would take me light years to have it consumed. I might give some of them to my Pinoy friends and hopefully, they’ll enjoy it the way I do.



I think I should get some kind of royalty as I was recommending it to my friends who end up getting too. Hmmm…Paging Rene Jose B. Stuart del Rosario of “Pinakurat” hehehe

...getting into Pacquiao-Dela Hoya fight

I’m a bit tired as I went to bed at around 12:30 am this morning. I was practically reading articles and watching videos on Pacquiao-Dela Hoya Fight on Sunday.

Dubbed as fight of the year, the No. 1 Pound for Pound will fight against the Golden Boy of Boxing. They will meet halfway at 147 lbs as Manny will get himself up while Oscar will trim down to the category. I know, with their weight and height differences, the bout seems to be a mismatch but when I was reading and watching their preparations, this fight is a must for every boxing fan.

I hope I could watch it on Sunday like Manny’s last fight with Diaz. I’ll be like “googling” the net to find some free views and replays of the fight. I’m just excited to watch it.

And as usual, Philippines would again be peaceful as no crimes have been committed on his fights and ceasefire between the army and the rebels would be observed.

Ayos!

Monday, December 01, 2008

...exhausting weekend, "naughty housemate", "Pinakurat", summer

I’m exhausted. My weekend was loaded. Not only I was at the Pinoy Fiesta last Saturday at Laverton and at Colac for a friend’s birthday yesterday, I wasn’t able to sleep well on a Saturday night as my housemate was really, really, really, really, really naughty.

Imagine, at 3:45 am, I could hear her moaning plus slapping like in porn movies. I really thought I was dreaming until I could hear her doing her thing with a partner for a night. I’m just ok with her naughty orgasmic ride but I should have been sleeping at that time. She should have been stuffed with socks on her mouth as it was really distracting. Bad, bad, bad girl. Anyway, “Opeth, Tool and Pantera” helped me in masking her moans.

I also enjoyed the fiesta last Saturday as Pooh was really entertaining. Uncle Rey, Auntie Elma and I just can’t contain ourselves as we were laughing so hard. He truly is entertaining and it’s nice to see the Pinoy community enjoying in unison.

Staying under the heat of the sun was all worth it. It was also our chance to meet Fritz and his brother, who imports “Pinakurat” in Australia. A BIG thanks for giving us discounts. I couldn’t imagine we were able to buy a box of “Pinakurat” which was 30 250 ml bottles. Hahaha.

Sunday was also fun as we went to Colac to celebrate Kuya Ronnie’s birthday. As usual, non-stop eating and laughing was thing for the day. It was kinda hard for me as I was stuck between the oldies and the kids which was a struggle trying to get into topic. But other than that, the food was great and the conversations were all fun.

Hmmm…anyway, it’s officially first day of summer here in Australia and I’m looking forward to enjoy the hot, Aussie sun.

Back to work.