Monday, May 22, 2006

New Joke, New Photos

I added new photos in the Photo Galleries section (where else?). They’re from the Art Festival at Jed’s school. Check out his cool moves during their dance and his amazing rock-climbing feat. He could not even get halfway up the first time. But during the second one, with some assistance, he managed to get all the way up to the buzzer. Then, he climbed two more times, this time, all by himself. That’s my boy!

I also just added a new joke to the joke book. They’re actually Beatles songs rewritten for/by programmers. Check them out. Can’t help but imagine myself belting out Yesterday at one of our company parties. That would be hilarious. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I went to another MSDN event yesterday. Anand Iyer was the evangelist. This is my second time to see him talk. It was interesting (as usual). Got to see new features in C# 2.0, among others. The generics are very similar to, if not almost the same as, C++ templates. They're pretty fast. He had a demo comparing ArrayList with List. It took around 3.5 seconds to insert and traverse 10,000 integer entries with the ArrayList. It took like .5 second to do the same thing with List. Ooh! Aah! (as he would say.)

He also talked about WebParts, which is also cool. However, since I do not develop web sites professionally, I was only half-interested. He pointed us to, which uses WebParts. It's similar to My Yahoo!, which I have been using myself. So, just today, I checked it out. I found out about gadgets, read the visitors' comments, and found out about Yahoo! widgets. Hence, the title of this entry.

I chose widgets over gadgets because the former seemed to be more established (Microsoft is playing catch-up as usual. Don't get me wrong. I love Microsoft. Really. They just seem to often play catch-up and seem to want to invade any niche there is to invade). Anyway, so I downloaded the widgets engine and voila, I had access to my Y! Notepad (which was actually another reason I picked widgets) and Y! Calendar/ToDo List outside of the browser. It's pretty neat. I also downloaded Scribbler 3.0, which stores text you store in the clipboard so you can access them again later, if need be.

Time will tell whether I'll get into the habit of really using them or the charm will just wear off, as is often the case with initally seemingly nifty tools like this.

Monday, May 15, 2006

More Greetings

Forgot to greet Cynths, a new mother. Happy Mother's Day! Congrats to you and Arnold!

Vic, haberday!!! :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

Son las once y uno de la noche. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, especially to my hon Jing (who got a little time-off this afternoon), my mom (who's now back in the Philippines), and all the other moms in my life. I know it's late. It's almost over in fact. But my DSL was down almost the whole day. I thought it was going to be a good Sunday. But nope, I was worried and frustrated the whole day. We don't realize this but we've become so dependent on the Internet. Well, at least I am. I work from home almost every day of the week so there's much reason for me to be worried every time I lose my connection. It's been flaky the past several days. So I got a new modem (SpeedStream 4100) from Best Buy yesterday thinking it was because my current one (SpeedStream 5360,... I think) was getting old and was getting ready to move on to modem heaven. But the new one didn't help. My connection would still intermittently die and by 6 pm today, it just went totally dead. I couldn't connect for hours. I called my ISP and they did confirm there was an outage that affected me (and apparently, not Mickee and Len, those lucky souls). I sure hope there won't be one tomorrow.

What is it with Sundays? :(

It started out great. I was able to order stuff that I had been wanting to get online, some Spanish books and a step lawn edger. Then, right after placing my last order, my connection was gone. I just shrugged it off at first.

Took out the Dyson and vacuumed the whole house. Janelle was vacuuming with me with her own little Dirt Devil. She was so cute. She would turn it on when I turned mine on and turned it off when I turned mine off.

I'm getting better at cleaning the stairs. I'm getting more efficient now. I used to hate cleaning them. Though still not my favorite part to clean, I don't mind cleaning them anymore.

Oh by the way, did you know that the first car ever didn't have a windshield? Do you realize that racecar spelled backwards is also racecar? I had no idea it was a palindrome. You know who told me those? Jed, of course, my bright boy. Not sure about the first car not having a windshield but I kinda take his word for it. Not sure where he got those info but I just feel so much pride every time he surprises me with little things like that. Btw, in case you haven't heard, he started reading when he was 2 1/2.

Want to hear something funny? When I was ready to dispose of the dirt from the vacuum cleaner, the bin, for some reason, just opened and all the dirt fell out, some on my feet, some on the Dyson itself, and the rest on the garage floor. Luckily, it's a vacuum cleaner we're talking about here. So, I just vacuumed it all up again. I was basically cleaning Dyson using itself. Kinda reminds me of the Friends episode where... hmm, what's her name?... argh!... Ross' sister... you know her... anyway, she was cleaning her vacuum cleaner with a smaller one and she said something like "If I only had a smaller vacuum to clean this". Okay, it was funny when I watched it. :)

I just watched the season finale of Smallville (recorded on my dvd recorder) and I thought it was awesome. Another cliffhanger. Also saw Charmed's second-to-last episode ever. Phoebe (and probably Paige, too) didn't survive. But the preview of the final episode proved to be a real spoiler. I know someone who never watches previews (if you're reading this, you know who you are). He doesn't want to have any idea what's going to happen. I, on the other hand, love previews. I guess it's a sign of impatience, kinda.

I'm going to post this entry via email again just because the Blogger site was so slow. I gave up trying to access it so here I am, typing this up in an email.

Every now and then, I visit just to see what ads Google will show on the little banner at the top of this page. I sometimes see "Blogs for Midgets" or "Dating for Dwarfs" (or something like that). And I had been wondering why on earth it would show those ads on my site. And I just realized that I did, at one point, talk about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the book that Janelle likes me to read to her every night. Now it figures.

k... Had to cheat by googling it. Ross' sister is Monica. I can sleep peacefully tonight.

Here's to a great week and a better Sunday!!! Happy Mother's Day ulit sa lahat ng mga nanay sa mundo!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Somos ciudadanos norteamericanos.

Just got back from the oath-taking ceremony. Yes, Jing and I are now full-fledged US citizens. Some non-native English speakers would say full-pledged, which kinda makes sense too if you think about it, but the fledged part is a reference to full-grown birds, i.e. completely covered with feather.

But I digress. We left the house at 7 am. And thanks to heavy traffic caused by the morning commute (it's a weekday), the landslide that happened several days ago in one part of the freeway, and a car that caught on fire, we didn't think we'd make it. We were so stressed. We got there just in time. But it turned out we were sweating it. The actual ceremony did not start until like ten. Before it did, there was a guy, a naturalized citizen himself, who was basically talking about how the thing would work.

There were quite a few poignant moments that made me almost tear up. What?! I'm sentimental. My Lola Ma was right. She told me once she felt the same thing when she did hers years ago. This is a big deal. You're pledging allegiance to your new country and basically leaving the one that raised you behind. Definitely one of those events in your life when you're happy and proud and sad all at the same time.

Sitting on my right was an elderly lady from Peru. She didn't speak nor understand English (maybe very little). I was going to guide her (like ask her to stand up when her country was called out) but sadly, to my own disappointment, my Spanish was not good enough yet. I do not even know how to say "stand up" in Spanish. Good thing the lady to her right was from El Salvador and of course knew Spanish, too. I heard them talk. And I was just amazed how they were from two different countries but seemed like they had known each other. Made me want to master Spanish even more.

I'd post pictures but we didn't bring a camera. :)

On another note, one of our neighbors got solar panels on their roof. I'm so jealous... not in a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses way. I've always wanted to have those since I learned about them. I know how much it would help us lower our energy bill. If only they weren't too pricey. Where is my time travel machine (see my previous post)?

I hope I'll be able to publish this now. I haven't been able to since yesterday. I have another one waiting that I typed up yesterday. Don't know if it's my host or Blogger that's acting up. It's probably their combination. I just managed to upload a new photo gallery (Sausalito/SF Tour) from FrontPage. So, I know the FTP server is working.

Oh, I almost forgot. Coincidentally, the Spanish word of the day that greeted me this morning was ciudadano, which means citizen. And the sample sentence was Soy un ciudadano norteamericano. Very nice, verdad?

UPDATE: I just notified both Blogger and my host about the problem. Also did some googling and found that other people have been having the same problem since yesterday. When you see this post, that means, whatever the problem was has been resolved. Hope that happens soon.

05/10 UPDATE: It's now resolved. That's why you can read this now. The problem was that my host's FTP server was blocking posts from because of "too many requests coming from the same IP address". In other words, they were not being blogger-friendly. Last I heard from them, their admins and Blogger's admins were working on it together. And they delivered. Yipee!

Monday, May 08, 2006

La Lotería Bonita

I recently learned that Bonito(a) meant pretty. We know someone named Bonita and she is indeed pretty. It makes me wonder. Had she not been born pretty, would her parents still have named her Bonita?

The Back to the Future movies are among my all-time favorites. There was one scene where old Bif got hold of a Sports Almanac (or something) from the future and gave it to young Bif. In the interest of retiring early, I'd probably do something similar. I'd move forward just a couple of days ahead, either this Wednesday or Thursday, depending on which of Super Lotto or Mega Million has the bigger jackpot. I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. :)

Now you know why this entry has such a contrived title. :) K, work is calling my name.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sunday is Relaxation Day!

This past Sunday wasn’t though. :( We decided to take this San Francisco tour that took us to Sausalito on a ferry then to selected spots in San Francisco on a shuttle. It was supposed to be fun. It was mostly for my Mom and our little ones but it was also for us as we hadn’t been to some of the places, either (e.g. Chinatown, believe it or not). But for some reason, it was tiring. Not the “feel-good” kind but the “I just want to go back to bed” type of tired. We were all exhausted. I didn’t want to get up this morning. It was one of those “I wish I could retire now” mornings.

I don’t know. I think it was a combination of a lot of things. First off, on the ferry, Janelle insisted that we walked around. I got tired right then and there. Then, on the shuttle, it was really warm. The tour guide didn’t want to turn on the air conditioner as it was loud and he was afraid we wouldn’t hear him. Then, for a while, Jed kept pushing the seat in front of him. I actually saw the lady sitting in front make a face because of it. So, I spent the whole day making sure he did not do that anymore. Then, later on, Janelle joined us. There were three of us sharing two seats. She wouldn’t sit on my lap though. She insisted (again… yes, quite insistent she’s becoming) that she sat on the chair, and buckled up at that. So, I ended up with a quarter of my butt sitting on air. And the tour was like 5 hours long. Imagine that.

The stops were not kid-friendly in that we always had to cross some street to get to the place of interest. It was just taxing. On the last stops, we just opted to stay on the shuttle. I actually wanted to step out when we were at the Victorian houses (at least I think they were) on Steiner Street. I believe that place served as the backdraft (or whatever the term) during the opening credits of “Full House”. But my body was begging me not to. I just took pictures from the shuttle.

And listen to this. I needed to break my $20 bill so I could give $10 each to the driver and the tour guide as tip. So, during one stop, I thought I’d buy coffee from some coffee shop there and of course, they didn’t take $20’s. Just my luck! So, I had to cross the street and buy a magnet from, I don’t even know what the place was called. It was a tourist place that showed how cable cars worked.

Oh, one funny thing…. well, not really. Jed drinks lots of water. So, he also pees a lot. So we made sure that at stops where there were restrooms, he went. But there was one point when we were headed for Nob Hill and he couldn’t hold it anymore. The quite-heavy traffic wasn't helping. Good thing they served refreshments, including bottled water, and we had him pee in the bottle. Then, we were walking in Chinatown (the group just literally walked through it. No detailed narration or whatsoever from the tour guide), he had to go again. A sign said “Restroom for customers only”. So, I was hesitant to ask any of the restaurant owners. I could have tried. Bad dad! Anyway, good thing he could hold it until we got back on the shuttle and he peed in the bottle again. :)

All in all, it wasn’t really that bad. We really just felt exhausted and not wanting to give a tip. They did a pretty decent job but we think the price was too much, especially for the kids.

I wish it were Sunday today.

P.S. I posted this blog entry via email. Pretty cool. I like the font more, too. It's smaller. It's just weird how, when I edit it on blogger, it appears super big.