Monday, December 29, 2008

Still On Holiday Cheers

Since I was working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I'd like to think that most of the people were in the same scenario as mine.

Last Sunday, Dec 28th was the official Christmas Party for Kaba-Maasin Las Vegas. This is a group of people from my hometown, Maasin City, Philippines. It was a delayed but not too late a celebration of comraderie, of families and friendships. Spirit of Christmas was still strong as people exchanged gifts, shared food and drinks together with the usual Pinoy style of celebrating, the dancing.

This coming New Year, most of us again will be working but we will still celebrate and welcome 2009 this coming Jan 4, 2009.

Just follow this link for the Christmas Party pictures:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Smiles For Everyone

It is hard to imagine Christmas season with no images of people smiling. This is the season of joy and happiness. There is something special about a smile specially on Christmas. It starts on the face and ends in the heart. We may not have enough material things to share with others on this season of giving but the cheapest and most meaningful thing to give is a smile.

So many things happened to us this past year. They all varied from one person to another and from one's experiences. Some were bad while others are stories of successes. Some have fulfilled their dreams while some were not or were still working on it. Currently many of us are frustrated by economic events but we still manage to go over it and a step in the right direction rarely comes without a smile.

When you are out and about this Christmas, a smile is a welcome gesture that you can share to people around you. It can change the mood of the day, and it could become more brighter.

So this year, I will be giving out smiles for everyone on Christmas and I bet I could get some of them in return.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

An Extraordinary Day At Work

For several years that I've been working in this hospital, last night was extraordinary for me. I worked in the evenings from 9pm to 7am the following morning.
The pharmacy department where I belonged to is undergoing a transition. Our Pharmacy Director resigned and his position is now temporarily covered by our sister hospital's pharmacy director. With a new boss comes with new policies and procedures. For the past weeks, we've been reviewing our procedures and processes in our own workplace. I myself have submitted the detailed steps in handling the Robot-Rx and other steps related to it. I've been working with our robot ever since it was first installed in our pharmacy and therefore I have the most experience as compared to the rest of the pharmacy technicians. The pharmacy is currently implementing new steps and procedures and for the past 3 weeks, I have my own share of surprises everytime I go to work. The new procedures were already implemented and I didnt realize that it would take more time to accomplish them than I thought at first. Last night was the first time that I didnt have my lunch break because I was catching up with the procedures most of the time.
It is a normal human behaviour to react negatively with change but obviously all the changes that were being implemented were for the betterment of the pharmacy services which in turn would result to patient's safety. All changes were geared to illiminate errors in medication dispensing. People just have to deal with these new changes and learn to live with it. Eventually all these changes would become a normal part of our daily routine in the pharmacy.
Stress at work?..its just a normal thing. One just have learn how to manage work related stress so as not to affect our individual lives. As for me, I'm looking forward to my days off so that I could spend them with friends and family or better yet spend it chatting online with a very special friend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Lost My Baby!!!

Exactly one (1) week had passed that I mourned the loss of my baby. I havent got the guts to write about the loss because I was still hurting and in mourning. Now that its been a week when it happened, I think its time for me to bring closure and start living my life to the fullest again. Life is too short to be wasted thinking about my lost love, I have to move on and moving on I did.

Still confused about who I'm talking about? Its my new cellphone, Nokia E71. I got it in the Philippines when I visited there last August. After almost two months of glorious usage, I lost it due to my carelessness. I can't blame any other person or any circumstance but myself. I unknowingly left it, of all places, inside the cubicle of a restroom in my workplace. I worked graveyard shift from Wednesday through Saturday. It was around 4am, Sunday that the call of nature kept bugging me. Since I'm addicted with my baby, I brought it along with me to listen some music but when I checked the incoming messages, I got plenty unread text messages waiting to be opened. Have you experienced the calm that you feel after that huge rush of waste coming out of your system? I felt the same way and I thought I slept while inside the cubicle. Thinking that I was inside the restroom for quite a while, I quickly did the finishing touches and rushed out of the cubicle and back to my work. We were quite busy at that time so I havent noticed that my poor baby was left behind on top of the toilet paper dispenser mounted on the wall. I purposely placed it on top of the dispenser becasue I didnt want it to slip out of my uniform's breast pocket.

I only remembered about my phone after about two (2) hours had passed. I ran back to the restroom and my baby was nowhere to be found. I tried calling my number several times and nobody answered. I even left a voice message hoping that the person who found it would be able to open it...just trying to shoot the stars here. After several attempts, it finally went immediately to my voice mailbox, meaning my phone was disabled either by turning the power off or opened it and took out the battery.

Immediately that day, I went to the phone store where I first signed up with my cellular phone carrier. I told them what happened and asked them if I could get a new SIM card to be used with my old phone, the LG Shine. They were able to do a SIM swap therefore I could still use my phone number with all the bundled subscription plans intact. The old SIM card in my lost phone will be disabled. Adding more insult to injury, while I was still in the store, a guy came in and ask the sales associate how to activate a phone that he just found in a bus. The owner must have left it there. Anybody could buy a new SIM card and put it inside any phone making it useable again. Back in my mind (while silently sobbing...wiping invisible tears...) I thought that's what my baby's founder would do in order to activate it.

A close friend of mine told me to stop the senseless mourning on my part and stop crying over spilled milk. Hey, I love my baby and I'm crazy about it. If you cant undestand why I was feeling this way, go to, search for Nokia E71 and see for yourself. By the way, I'm looking at Nokia E71 right now at and start playing the idea of getting another baby for myself...hmmmmm.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another New Toy

While in the Philippines, particularly in Cebu City, I happen to see several cellphone companies setting up shops in the malls. This triggered my curiousity to check on some new and cool phones. There are several new phones from LG, Sony-Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. I particularly remembered before I left Las Vegas for this vacation, I happen to shop around in Fashion Show Mall and saw a Nokia smartphone that cost about $1000. I vividly remember that model number and its the Nokia E71, the latest in Nokia's E-series of smart phones. It was newly released last July and the supply was still limited but I happened to grab one for myself. It only cost me less than half the price of the one I saw in Las Vegas.

This particularly is a cool phone for me since I've been wanting to own a smartphone. I was inclined to buy a blackberry before but I ended up with LG Shine instead. Now that I have this new E71 phone, I got to familiarize again with its functions. It has a full querty keyboard which makes it easier to send text messages or email. It's a quadband world phone that allowed me to just put in my sim card of my carrier here in the States and it all worked fine. Aside from my expectations from a smartphone like SMS & MMS capability and email as well as calendar, calculator and conversion software it has a complete connectivity functions. You can connect the device using bluetooth, infrared, USB connectors and has WLAN that means easier transfer and sharing of files as well as direct access to the Internet while you're on a hot spot. There are a lot of extras like a 3.2 megapixel camera and videocam with a flash, map locator and GPS navigator as well.

I can say a lot of my new phone but you got to see it to believe it. You can go online and check it out, too.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vacation In Maasin City

I recently had my grand vacation in my hometown, Maasin City. As I previously posted my travels on my way to my final destination, I havent got a chance to post all the details that was happening in Maasin. Here are some of the highlights of my vacation in Maasin.

Me and my friend Willie actually spent 5 days in Cebu. I met my former officemates while I was working in Fairchild Semiconductor. These were my closest friends in Cebu. We also attended Gayle & Cesar's church wedding. On the 6th day we moved on to Maasin where we stayed in Villa Romana Hotel for the next 10 days.

It was fiesta time for Maasin City so there were a lot of invitations and activities that were going on. We had our feeding and gift-giving project dubbed "Pamistang Gasa Sa Pamilya 2" sponsored by Kaba-Maasin Las Vegas, a group of Maasinhons in Las Vegas where I belong. I also had a chance to have dinner with my former high school classmates. It was kind of a mini-reunion for us. The day after the Maasin fiesta, we had our Paloma Clan Reunion. This is a family reunion on my mother's side. We had a blast as we got to meet our relatives that we had never met before. We had also a chance to tour the southern part of my province. We stopped from one municipality to another and checked on what they can offer to visitors like us. I can see that the province of Southern Leyte is now doing something to improve the tourism industry. I hope this would go on and the government would not stop supporting the programs being started. Willie requested that we should also visit and tour the northern part of Leyte so we went to Tacloban which is around 3 hours drive. Noel, my brother was kind enough to render his services. He's a doctor but he didnt mind at all to be our driver and tourist guide at the same time. While in Tacloban, we visited the MacArtur Park where they depicted the Leyte landing as being promised by Gen Douglas MacArthur to free the Philippines from Japanese occupation. Who would forget Doug's famous line of "I shall return!" We also went to see the famous San Juanico Bridge, a major link between Samar and Leyte. With this bridge, it is now possible to travel by land from the northern tip of Luzon to the southern tip of Mindanao. The highlight for Willie during that visit to Tacloban was the Sto. Nino Shrine Museum which was previously owned by former first family, the Marcoses. Lastly we also celebrated my mother's birthday whith the whole family before we moved on to Manila.

We spent 2 days in Manila. We got the chance to meet our friends there. We went to Batangas to meet a friend of mine but we never stayed overnight. After our short stint in Manila, it was time to depart for the United States. While in flight, that was when we discovered how exhausted we were. Going back to Las Vegas is a huge counterpoint to our excitement when we were still on our way to the Philippines. We spent 3 weeks in the Philippines but I still feel it was not enought. There were so many places and people to visit but too little time. Looking forward to the next round.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

First Day In Cebu - Aug 5

The longest part of the trip is done. We arrived in Manila International Airport around 3:50am of Aug 5th. We went through the immigration without any difficulty so we proceeded to the domestic terminal where we have to wait for our flight to Cebu. One thing that I immediately noticed is the muggy feeling of the air outside the terminal. I was sweating even if its still very early in the morning. Well, I came prepared for this so after the various inspections in the domestic airport and we were already settled in the pre-departure area, I changed with another shirt that I brought in my had carry luggage.

We arrived in Cebu around 8:30am and we were met by my brother and his family. I spent the whole day with them in Cebu and then sent them off to the pier where they took a boat ride for Maasin City, actually my final destination. I remained in Cebu and will not move to Maasin City until Sunday, Aug 10th.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Longest Part Of The Trip

We arrived in Vancouver, Canada safely at around 10:15pm from Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport. We are now waiting for about 1 1/2 hours before we can board again our plane on our way to Manila. This would be the longest portion of the trip before we will arrive to our final destination which is Cebu. This trip alone would take about 16 hours to arrive in Manila. For now I'm quite sleepy since I worked the night before but because of the excitement for the trip, I cannot get even a wink earlier.

First Leg Of My Trip To The Philippines - Aug 3, 2008

We arrived at the Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport at around 3pm. We were helped by a friend at the Philippine Airlines check in counter so we have an easier and faster check in process for our luggages. From Las Vegas, departing approximately 7:30pm, we will have our first stop over at Vancouver, Canada and then we will proceed to Manila for the longest travel time of 16 hrs. So far everything is good and we are waiting for our departure.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Going Back To My Roots

It seems a long time already but my last trip back to the Philippines was February last year, 2007. This year I will be visiting my home country again this coming August. I have three main purpose for this trip, the first one is to attend the Maasin Fiesta on August 15th in honor of Our Lady Of The Assumption. The second purpose of my trip is to attend the church wedding of my friends who are already residing here in Las Vegas. The wedding will be in Cebu so I will spend 5 days in Cebu so that I could also meet my old friends from my previous work. My third purpose is to attend the Paloma Clan reunion on August 16th. This is a family reunion on my mother's side. This is quite a big event for our family since the Paloma clan from Maasin City will be the host for this reunion. My parents are also going with me on this trip as well as my best friend Willie. I'm also planning to meet my high school classmates and hopefully we could find time to meet up and maybe have fun for one evening. On the last 4 days in the Philippines, I'm planning to go to Manila with my friend. This is not his first visit to Manila and Cebu but his first ever in visiting my hometown, Maasin City.
I'll make it a point to update this blog for the whole duration of my trip.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Dose Of Art

Yesterday, I had a chance to view a unique form of contemporary art, its called Installation Art. With a friend in tow, we visited the Charleston Heights Art Center here in Las Vegas. The exhibit is called "Intention To Leave" by Robin Starbuck.

Installation art according to, uses sculptural materials and other media to modify the way a particular space is experienced. Installation art is not necessarily confined to gallery spaces and can be any material intervention in everyday public or private spaces. Installation art incorporates almost any media to create an experience in a particular environment. Materials used in contemporary installation art range from everyday and natural materials to new media such as video, sound, performance, computers and the internet. Some installations are site-specific in that they are designed to only exist in the space for which they were created.

"Intention to Leave" is a two chapter video projection. Chapter one includes live footages and digital animation of a frozen island landscape that seemingly represents a world uncorrupted by the human hand and so somehow not quite earthly. As the video progresses, a dark city arises from the sea. The city, and the mechanical sound of its emergence imply the catastrophic menace of mankind to the tranquility of the land.

In chapter two, the branding and castration of buffalo is preseded by the buffalo shaman tumbling through space. He is accompanied by the chanting of a Vajra Guru mantra. According to the artist's statement, this Tibetan mantra is meant to represent all of the twelve blessings of the Buddhist way. It's repeated recitation is meant to remove completely emotional corruption and to affect liberation from misdeeds causing rebirth and hampering the path to enlightenment. In this chapter, the mantra is sung both normally and in reverse. In this way, according to the artist, it becomes both a prayer and suspicion of prayer. The meaning of the video is then open to the viewers. Sins or misdeeds are either being removed from the suffering animals, represented by the castrations of the buffalos, or from humans or somehow the message is being inverted entirely.

On the walls of the gallery space are graphic images of radio waves. These are pattern replicas of radio waves captured from outer space. To this day the government maintains dozens of laboratories where radio waves or "messages" from outer space are captured and analyzed.

According to the artist, this exhibition, "Intention to Leave"is intended as a poem of warning. It is a speculation on the condition that humanities relationship to the earth and a suggestion that we humans may possibly be mere visitors to this planet; a planet we found, inhabited and seeking to destroy before the day we leave to find another. What suffers at our hands; the land, other creatures, water tables, and air quality, mean little to us. Unless we engage in magical transformation once radio contact is made, we humans will be gone.

This exhibition is a multimedia/digital presentation about the cycle of life and death and the sources of imagery are as diverse as cattle ranching to warfare combined with Buddhist chants and overlaid narration.

As I watched the presentation, I did not know what the artist intended to convey. Fortunately, the artist statement distributed before you enter the gallery helped a lot in understanding the whole thing. This kind of contemporary art is more interesting because it would involve the use of all your senses in order to understand and appreciate the artist's message. I'm looking forward to see and experience more of this interesting art form.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Does anybody remember the old poem "Desiderata"? I remember that this was mentioned during my high school days, I cant remember which year. Anyway, the poem's popularity at that time was brought about by the spoken-word recording of the said poem.

To refresh your memory and to understand its brief history, I have checked the ever reliable Wikipedia for the information. Here below is the brief history of this poem according to Wikipedia:
"Desiderata" (Latin for "desired things", plural of desideratum) is an inspirational prose poem about attaining happiness in life. It was first copyrighted in 1927 by Max Ehrmann.

In the 1960s, it was widely circulated without attribution to Ehrmann, sometimes with the claim that it was found in Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore, Maryland, and that it had been written in 1692 (the year of the founding of Saint Paul's). Nevertheless, the estate of Ehrmann has kept various editions of the work in print. A spoken-word recording of the essay was made by Les Crane and reached #8 on the Billboard magazine charts in late 1971.

At least one court case has held the poem to be forfeited to the public domain because of distribution during and before World War II, but other cases have ruled that the assignee, through Ehrmann's heirs holds the purchased copyright.

So there you are, the history of Deiderata.
If you read through the lines, its essay about how to live life to the fullest,how to handle relationships with other people, still holds true up to this day. All of us are in a never ending pursuit of happiness.

Included in this post is the full text of the poem, just click the picture itself and you will get a much larger view. If you want a copy of the sound file for the spoken-word recording by Les Crane, you can always drop me an email at

I hope you can learn much out of this poem.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My New Digital Camera

Photography is one art form that I wanted to pursue ever since I had my hands on my first SLR film camera back in the Philippines. It was a Minolta and I forgot the model number. Anyway, I got it from my former co-worker and he was kind of my mentor in photography. That old camera had some problems with its sensor and became useless even before I could master the tricks in taking artsy photographs.
When I arrived here in the USA, my first digital camera was a Sony Cybershot camera. I fell in love with it, learn its functions and features by heart so I became very comfortable with it. Eventually I have outgrown my little digicam and started eyeing on a more higher and advanced digital SLR cameras.
I got myself a Nikon D60 DSLR camera with a very good deal. I got an additional zoom wide angle lens and a camera bag for everything to put in. Right now, I'm trying to learn its features and functions. I tried using my new camera last night for a session of night photography. I cruised along the Las Vegas Strip and took some pictures, some of which are bad, some are outrageous and some are kind of average. I tried to use the manual functions of the camera and that's what the good thing about using digital cameras, you can always delete those undesirable pictures you've taken.
I'll make an online album exclusively for the pictures taken from my Nikon and I will announce it here when its ready to launch.
Pictures I posted here in this blog entry are some of the few who survived my rigid screenings. If you dont like them, you can just imagine the rest of the pictures that I took.

Back To Normal???

I'm done with my three weeks of mayhem at work. Well, its not really that bad, everything was manageable enough. The only drawback was, I was no longer online most of the time to chat with my friends and some of them are getting mad and thought that I was avoiding them. This period actually brings me some peace of mind. I was probably one of those people who are really into chatting and I just accept whoever would contact me or request me to be their chatmate. I've met all kinds of people and some of them, I would say are pervert enough to show themselves in most undesirable situations. For those who are on chatting or at least have some experience in communicating online, you would know what I meant. During this period, I promised myself that from then on, I would only go online and chat with my legitimate friends and I would say that they are only a few of them. For these past 3 weeks, all I did was just open my Yahoo Messenger, check if any of my "legit" friends are online and chat with them, if none of them are online, I would just leave an offline message for them and then logoff. My legit friends in Yahoo knows how to get in touch with me even if I'm not online and away from my computer. If you are one of them, you should have no problem at all to check out on me.
Although I have other friends outside of Yahoo Messenger and we communicate with each other through emails and text messaging.
So, is this what I call "normal"???

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I spent Mother's Day (May 11th) wth my mother, of course. I usually go out with my friends on my days off but this time, I made sure that I spent the day with my parents. In the previous years, I usually buy show tickets for my parents to watch. Last year I let them watch Mama Mia!, a broadway show here in Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel. This year, I just brought them out for late lunch. We went to Bayside Buffet in Mandalay Bay Hotel and had our usual long stay in a restaurant whenever we go to a buffet. Since we went there late, it was almost dinner already. They were serving food for dinner so there were a lot of seafood galore. We also had champagne with the food. This is how we usually celebrate Mother's Day and this is my way of honoring and thanking my mom for being the best mother that I could ever have.

Its typical for us Pinoys that we rarely express vocally our love to our family and loved ones. Unlike here in America where saying good byes to your mother or father, sister or brother, the expression of "I love you" is always included. So, given that fact, I always show my appreciation, respect and love to my parents in the form of gifts, buying them lunch or dinner, letting them watch a show or just by staying with them on their special day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Too Busy For Comfort

Its been a busy week in my workplace. On top of that, one of my fellow techincians have some family crisis that she needs to attend to during day time for the next 3 weeks. In order to accommodate her request, I have to move around our schedules. I have changed my schedule temporarily from Tuesdays through Saturdays and I'd be off from Saturday through Monday for the next 3 weeks. I also have to pull out the other techincian from graveyard shift and let her work on day shift to replace the other technician in question. While the other technician with the problem will have to work at nights from Saturday through Monday, in this way she could attend to her personal business during the day.
I just hope that everything would be okay for her and the crisis that she is in will be resolved.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Me and my family are practicing Catholics. Even back in out home country, the Philippines, we'd make sure that we hear Holy Mass every Sunday. Here in Las Vegas, we hear Mass as much as we can, considering that I have work on Saturday evenings so I spend the whole day of Sunday in my bed. We normally hear mass at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church every 6:30 PM. There is something special about this schedule, they always hold a Filipino mass on this time. All the songs are in Pilipino or Tagalog although there are a few that are in English. In order to be understood by the mixed crowd of churchgoers, the priest has to conduct the mass in English.

There are several instances that Filipino priests come to visit and officiate the mass much to the delight of mostly Filipino parishioners. This is where one could compare between a white or caucasian priest and a Pinoy priest in terms of offiating the mass. I myself could notice during the sermon where these "white" priests tend to read in delivering their sermon whereas these Pinoy priests, specially those newly arrived direct from the Philippines, they tend to just speak without using any draft at all. It seems that these Pinoy priests share the gospel from their heart while the "other" priests are not sincere enough in delivering their sermons.

Although it seems you can see the difference, the bottomline is how the parishioners absorbed the sermon. Those priests who were just reading their sermons, although seems not sincere, actually delivered the gospel and share it to the people with all their hearts put into it. They probably use some kind of aid while they talk in order to deliver the thought and the true message of the gospel in a more understandable and efficient way. In either way, the ultimate goal is to share the teachings of God. Priests are just the instrument of God to bring the good news to all the people and because they are still human, they are not perfect in some ways also.

So the next time I hear mass, I'd focus more on the good message the officiating priest tried to convey and not on their individual style in delivering such message.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Music & Dancing At The Moon

The city of Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world. It has everything from gambling to booze, from dining to sex, you name it and you'll find it in Vegas.

We call ourselves The Locals, people who consider this sin city our home. Although the tourists are mostly the ones you find inside bars and clubs as well as in the casino floor and of course restaurants, we locals are predominant figures during the weekends where most of us are off from work. Me and my friends are no excemption. Although we usually have our get-together parties in a friend's house on weekends, we also go out clubbing for a night of dancing and fun.

Last Sunday, me and my friends went all the way to the top of Palms Casino Resort to have a night of fun at Club Moon. Its an exclusive boutique nightclub, featuring spectacular views of the city and a celestial retractable roof. Appropriately named because when the roof is fully retracted, people are literally dancing the night away under the Las Vegas skies. Even if it was a Sunday evening, there were still a substantial crowd filling the whole venue. People are dancing to popular and some rare cuts of techno and house music featuring celebrity deejays at some nights. With the $20 entrance fee, you've got to enjoy everything the club could offer, from cocktail drinks to music as well as the beautiful crowd.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kaba-Maasin Site Update

Its been 7 months now since I last updated the website that I made for the Maasinhons of Las Vegas. Visitors of that site were already wondering what had happened to the webmaster since the last update was still on September 2007. Many of these visitors may not know the underlying reasons why I stopped doing the updates. The last update I made was about the pictures that I posted online from the Maasin Fiesta celebrations held in August.

Right after our celebrations in August, something happened that disturbed me so much that I don't even know what information I would use to update the group's website. What happened was so upseting even the days following that event. More and more embarassing information came up out of that fateful incident. It really affected my faith with the group, if the group could rise above that embarassing incident. Its not proper for me to put in details what really happened but its suffice to say that it affected the group tremendously.

Deep in my heart, I really wanted to revive the groupd's website. I thought I owe it to the regular visitors who wanted to know what's going on with us here in Las Vegas. There are new developments that recently happened and I think its high time to update the website. Although the website is still accessible online, with no activities for the past 7 months, it seems in a standstill, frozen in a certain time and space.

Currently, I'm gathering new materials that I could use to revive the website. More pictures that needs to be taken, new articles and announcements to write. Maybe I could think of a new updated page design to announce to the world that Kaba-Maasin Las Vegas group is still alive and ready to face a new chapter of its existence.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

'Twas A Smooth Workweek

Last week as quite okey for me. Even if I had worked an extra day to cover a coworker, I didnt mind because it was not really that busy in the pharmacy as I have described the previous week. There were no major issues that came out for the Robot machine (named ReX) so the cartfill process for the last 4 evenings were smooth sailing.

Tommorrow, a Monday, I'm planning to bring my car to a Toyota dealership for its 40,000-mile oil change and check-up. The indicator in the control panel has been blinking wildly as a reminder that its due for its regular maintenance. My car is a 2004 Toyota Hilander, actually a mid-size SUV. This is my first car so far that I bought for myself las November 2003. Although this was my second choice, the first was Nissan Murano, also a mid-sized SUV but at that time in 2003, it was the first time that the Murano was manufactured and released. There was no record yet or history of its quality and performance. So far "McLeod" (named after the main character in the Highlander TV series) has served me and my family well. Its gas usage is quite low as compared to a full size SUV or even truck models. I have driven McLeod to San Diego, about 5 to 6 hrs drive from Las Vegas, a couple of times. We arrived in Arizona's Grand Canyon South Rim safely because of McLeod. It was about 6 to 7 hr drive, the farthest so far. I loved this car as I dont have any complaints whatsoever in terms of its performace. As long as I keep it well maintained and do its regular check-ups, this should serve me and my family for a long time. As the common notion goes with all Asian built automobiles, "they run forever".

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What A Busy Week

I know, I know....I'm not being true to my promise of updating my blog everyday. Its no longer fit of its title, The Daily Grind.

There are a lot of things going on. Although one may consider them as insignificant but its actually taking my time out from going online and do updates on my blog.

Anyway, last week was one of the many long weeks for me. Aside from the hospital pharmacy was so busy, my co-worker also requested a time off on a Sunday. Sunday is supposed to be the first of my 3-days off from work as I work 4 days a week at 10hrs per day. So last Sunday, I did reported for work. Again it was busy even if it was a weekend. How I wish it would be summer soon as this would indicate lesser patients, meaning we have more time to relax at work. People from the East Coast, specially senior citizens could not stand the bitter cold in that part of the United States. They tend to move here in the South West as the winter is not that cold and rarely snows down here. When summer comes in, these same people could not stand the triple digit heat temperatures that we usually experience so they again would move up to the East where summer heat is more tolerable.

With all these going on, I still managed to have some quality time with my good friend Willie. We shopped at Fry's Electronics for some PSP games for my nephew while I accompanied Willie to do his groceries. We also went out to dine at Roberto's Mexican Grill. What was funny about this was that Willie was actually not in favor of eating in this restuarant because as what he told me, it is not an authentic Mexican restaurant. I would probably agree as we've been in a more authentic Mexican restaurant before with some of Willi's Mexican friends. When we were ordering, we tried some of their menu which we found to be appealing after all. We tried the nachos con carne or with meat like beef or chicken. We also tried some sort of a sandwhich in which Willie decided that during our next visit, he would order that sandwhich because he liked it very much. We also tried their rice cinnamon juice drink and I actually liked it. Its hard to describe it here but you just have to try it to appreciate its unique flavor.

As I said, I only got 2 days off this week and as of this writting, its already Wednesday and I'll be working again for the next 4 days.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Nice Gift

According to the dictionary, Poetry means the art of rhythmical composition, written or spoken, for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts. Poetry is everywhere around us, in music, in visual arts, in nature. Birds in flight is a good example of poetry in motion just like what you see in any dance performance. Poetry is in everything and in everyone of us. The difference though is that not everyone of us can express oneself and ones thoughts in poetry. It takes a lot of hardwork and practice to write and recite poetry.

A friend of mine actually has the knack of expressing his inner feelings through his poems and at this early, I already consider him as a budding poet. He once promised me to write something for me and he came up with this composition. Its beautiful in its rawness and frankness and I'm very flattered that he made this for me. I'm very proud to share this with all the readers of this blog.

When I was sitting,
and carefully thinking,
of a gift to a friend
that will last 'til the end.

I look at the night sky,
and wish on a star,
help me find a way,
to be with you though you're far

You're one of a kind
that I've found in this world,
I never thought we'll be
forever friends is what I see

Someone who's there always,
ready to help in many ways,
even in times of happiness and sorrow,
He's ready to face tomorrow.

A gift for a special friend,
that I was thinking when I was sitting,
is being delivered,
by this poem I believe....

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Poet, the Artist and the Porn Star

Just like everybody else I've tried using my computer to communicate with friends and relatives as well as meet new friends. The most common method I used is the Yahoo Messenger although I have used Skype which works just like YM. I'm more into YM because all of my friends and contacts are using this. I have also became a member of a social netwrok called and although there are also other social network that are similar with the one that I used, I have kept my extensive profile in Friendster.

I have met many kinds of people online using these method and I would highlight some that I befriended the most. First and foremost I have met my best friend and buddy here in Las Vegas. We've been friends for quite sometime now. The next one, I have met a guy from Manila which I mentioned in my previous blog. Our contact faded as quickly as it started because he just doesnt want to chat with me anymore. Maybe he found somebody else more appealing for him. Nevertheless, I wished him the best since he's still an acquaintance. I also met another guy online which I also briefly mentioned in my previous postings. We became very good friends over the net and regularly chat on YM. We discussed any topic and the longer we chatted we seemd to know each other for a long time. We both opened up each of our life stories. Unfortunately our communication just stopped. I dont know what happened although from our last chat, he had something to tell me which he wasnt comfortable enough talking online. I did not forced the issue and that was I think my regrets. Up to this time I was still hoping to get in touch with him. I dont want to end our friendship at all.

Out of the blue, I befriended a mechanical engineering student. A very kind and witty kid, mature enough for his age. We became close to the extent that he started opening his life to me. He considered me as his older brother and in return I treated him as what he expected to be treated by big brother. I've been reading his blogs because I can see a budding poet in the making. He usually post poems in his blogs, poems that probably came upon his mind given the right mood. During my brithday last February, he shared with me a poem that he composed for himself for his own birthday. I have posted this poem in this blog.

I think I was blessed enough to meet another kind and understanding person. This time, he is a singer-composer and a song writer. During our first chat, we kind of open up ourselves and seems that we already have known each other forever. He's one of the most caring and thoughtful person I've ever met or known over the internet. I hope to meet him in person. This one, I'm praying that we will be friends forever.

I did meet some weird people, too. These kinds of people also abound online and if you're not careful enough, you will get to meet them in one way or another. I met someone who was kind and sweet at first but became something else on the course of our chatting. He started flirting to me and even stripped off his clothes in front of the camera as we were using the video chat feature. He was like a porn star stripping naked while seducing me. Fortunately, it was not my cup of tea so I stopped chatting with him right there and then.

In real life, you still meet all kinds of people but meeting them online is more prominent. One has the tendency to over act from what they really are. Maybe because of the fact that you were not meeting the other person physically so you feel safe in presenting yourself to others more than what you really are.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

At Work With The Robot Named ReX

My workweek came and gone with no problems at all. The whole four days or I should say nights, were smooth as silk. I work for McKesson Automation which provides automated solutions for health care. One major product that we provide is the Robot-Rx, an automated storage and dispensing system for unit dose medications in the form of pills, capsules, unit dose cups and syringes. We need to repackage these medications individually so that it could fit into the rods inside the Robot for storing. When orders were generated by doctors and transmitted to the pharmacists which in turn would convert them into doses, our McKesson system controlling the Robot would identify the drugs and the number of doses so that the Robot can dispense these drugs to individual patients. The whole process seems simple but there are a lot going on behind the scene than meets a visitor's eyes. A lot of work is done in repackaging the medications from the actual ordering of medicines, the actual repackaging and restocking the Robot. This would also entail a close monitoring of inventory for both Offline (outside the Robot) and Online (inside the Robot)inventory locations. Without proper or correct inventory levels on these locations could cause shortage of drugs or medications essential in saving patients lives. I am not allowed to talk more in detail about my company and the Robot itself but its suffice to say that me and my co-workers became closer to the Robot machine that we usually refer it as a person. I appropriately named him ReX from his official name Robot-Rx.
Attached is a short video showing ReX at work. ReX is doing restocking of IV vials repackaged in individual small plastic bags.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Pinay On American Idol - Could She Make It?

Here is another favorite contestant of mine for the American Idol. She is a Filipina from Florida. She's been doing quite well and also a big contender to become the next America's singing sensation. Common Pinoys, its time to use our talent on text messaging and vote for Ramiele Malubay to become the next American Idol.
I'm posting her video singing on the first week of judging where she was one of the top 24. By the way, she made it and is moving on to the next level of competition.
Now, you'd be the judge.

Could He Be The Next American Idol?

With my new DVR installed with my digital cable tv, I can now record my favorite tv programs even when I'm away from home and view it on a later time and in my convenience. One of my favorite shows is the American Idol. A singing contest where viewers would vote the winner to become America's newest singing sensation. This is now the 7th season of the said show and every season there is always a particular contestant that would stand out among the rest. This season, I am closely watching 16 year old David Archuleta from Utah. He is young, good looking, likable with a talent of singing and playing the piano. He is now part of the top 20 contestants and he is an early favorite ever since his auditions in San Diego. When I checked YouTube, it is evident that he already has a fan base. I've already seen his early performances way before when he was so young and participated in Star Search, another talent search on tv. I'm posting his home video where he sang A Thousand Miles while playing the piano. I'm also posting a video of him singing in the American Idol season 7 during the eliminations in Hollywood, California. Now, tell me if he has a real chance to win.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Memorable Wednesday

A close friend of mine had his birthday yesterday, a Wednesday (Feb 20). Fortunately enough, I didnt have any work because I had worked last Monday for a sick co-worker.
I want to make it memorable for him because I rememeber that he told me he never got to celebrate his birthdays before.
I bought us tickets for a broadway show Mama Mia. Although I have seen this show before I didnt mind watching it again with my friend because I really liked the show. I was relieved that my friend also liked the show, he even commented that we should watch it again.
After the show, we were already hungry so we went to our favorite Chinese Restaurant, Sam Woo BBQ Restaurant to have a late night dinner.
Overall, it was a successful birthday for him. I was glad that I got to be with him on his natal day and made it a little different and special for him.

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Belated Birthday Party

Since my birthday last Feb 7th was a working day for me, I decided to hold a party with my family and friends on Feb 10, a Sunday. Mostly all my friends from Maasin City attended the party. I had my friend Willie cook three of my favorite food. He actually wanted to cook for me as his birthday gift.

Here below is the link of my account for my online album.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Celebrating My Birthday

This year, my birthday, February 7, 2008 falls on the Chinese New Year for the Lunar Year Of The Rat. My friend Willie and I had a dinner in a Chinese restaurant where we odered our favorite seaweed pork soup, fish in tomato sauce, fried shrimps and clams with black bean sauce. We feasted on them with gusto and my friend commented that I must have been born on the year of the Boar as I devoured all the food in front of me. Unfortunately, my friend was mistaken since I was born in the year of the Ox in the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Here are the complete description of being born on the year of the Ox.

Asian Zodiac: Ox


1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997


Keeper of tradition, the Ox maintains a classic and sophisticated style. Iron-willed, they remain true to their beliefs. A strong leader, their hard work and dedication are an inspiration to all. Ox people never stray from their chosen path.

Compatible with:

Rooster, Rat, and Snake

Non-Compatible with:


Western Counterpart:


Famous Oxen:

Waren Beatty, Bill Cosby, Madeleine Albright, Margaret Thatcher, Bruce Springsteen, Vincent Van Gogh, Jon Bon Jovi, Charlie Chaplin, Aristotle, Robert Kennedy, Dustin Hoffman, Adolf Hitler, Richard Burton, Kate Moss, Meg Ryan, George Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Anthony Hopkins, Saddam Hussein, Heather Locklear, Eddie Murphy, Jane Fonda, Princess Diana, Meryl Streep, Sigorney Weaver, Jim Carrey, Gerard Ford, Walt Disney, Paul Newman, and Jack Nicholson.

So, that's it. Its not bad after all, right?

Celebrating my birthday this year was quite special since all Chinese people in the world are celebrating with me so it would be appropriate for me to wish everyone "Gong Xi Fa Cai!".

A friend of mine also sent his greetings to me through YM chat and here is what he has to say:

To reflect on New Year's Day
And To reflect in a similar
Manner on one's birthday...

New Year's and Birthday Time are both
A good time to
Reconsider one's life's path
On one's birthday, like on New Year's,
One is reminded
Of turning a year older

One must also be reminded
One has also turned a year wiser
Like New Year's
Birthday Time can be
A time to review
And to revise and improve
One's Present and One's Future.

This original poem of his was posted in his blog. I thanked him for that so that's why I also posted his poem here in my blog. I'm also linking my personal blog to his blog so that you may appreciate his postings in there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday

Last Sunday was a special day for sports fans, specially football fans of NFL. It was dubbed as Super Bowl Sunday and this is the 42nd year that they are holding this championships. With fans all over America and the world, they converge to their TV sets to be able to watch the games. This year, its between New England Patriots and New York Giants. The games was held at the University Of Pheonix Stadium at Pheonix, Arizona. This is the time where football foods comes out to serve hungry fans like hotdogs, burgers, pizza and some even hold super bowl parties with barbeque and booze.

Unfortunately, I did not go to a super bowl party because I have to work and cover one of my co-worker because are right...super bowl. In the hospital, we still have the super bowl spirit. The management was giving off free pizza to all departments....well I saw the last 2 quarters of the game and I knew who won and at least my pizza party came on later. New York Giants won the Super Bowl XLII. It was a fun game I think even if I'm really not into football but I love to see the fans' reactions whenever their team had a touchdown.

Well here attached is my share of the pizza.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Right After The Storm

Today is a Tuesday and Willie and myself are both off from our respective work. By the afternoon, Willie dropped by in our house and we watched a few dvd movies. Around 7PM we already felt the hunger pangs and we pondered as to where to go for dinner. We decided to go to an authentic Chinese restaurant located in Chinatown here in Las Vegas. It maybe because both of us were very hungry or most likely the food were good that we finished everything that we ordered.
I have attached a picture that I took right after the storm had passed on our table. I should also have taken a picture of the food that we ordered before we started devouring them but the picture posted here is a testimony how hungry we both were.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just Another Week Had Passed

Just another week had passed and so far everything ran smoothly as it should be. There were no major issues at work that I wasnt able to handle and I thanked God for that. My workweek started and ended with ease although as the week progress, I was actually looking forward toward my days off. By then I could chat my heart out.

I was able to visit a family friend in the hospital after he had a major surgery to take out some cancerous mass from his pancreas. So far he's been doing well while he's currently confined in the ICU (intensive care unit)for the next 3 to 4 days.

Talking about chatting, again I met another chatmate and so far we both enjoy everytime we are online together. There was never a dull moment and I actually enjoyed sharing ideas, life's issues and other things with him. Although I have never broken my own chat record, like the last time where I spent chatting for almost 9 hours, everytime we talk or chat for that matter, it seems like we already know each other for a long time. I hope to establish a good friendship with him and I see it to be very possible.

I had a quick dinner with my best friend, Willie this evening. We originally planned to go to a better restaurant if he was able to leave from work earlier but it seems that they were busy enough for him to stay longer until 9pm. I was already feeling hungry while waiting for his call so I went out and went to In 'n Out Burger. As i got my order and started eating, Willie called informing me that he already left from work. We agreed to meet at Seafood City and ended up at Chow King. I had wanton & beef noodle soup while he got the chicken conjee. By the food alone you can tell that the night is feezingly cold due to a heavy downpour that lasted the whole day. Even if its cold we still ordered our favorite halo-halo for desert.

We called it a day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow, still on my day off.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

High Time For Regular Maintenance

Just like any machinery, a human body with its complicated and intricate structure of muscles, bones and veins needs its regular maintainance.
I recently visited my doctor to subject myself for a thorough physical check-up. I didnt feel any discomfort and nothing is bothering me at all except my erratic blood pressure. My last doctor's visit was 2004 so I decided (with the strong convincing power of a friend)that its high time for me to have my check-up again.
I had EKG (electrocardiogram), a test to measure the electrical activity of my heartbeat. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or “wave”) travels through the heart. This wave causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart. An EKG gives two major kinds of information. First, by measuring time intervals on the EKG, a doctor can determine how long the electrical wave takes to pass through the heart. Finding out how long a wave takes to travel from one part of the heart to the next shows if the electrical activity is normal or slow, fast or irregular. Second, by measuring the amount of electrical activity passing through the heart muscle, a pediatric cardiologist may be able to find out if parts of the heart are too large or are overworked.
The next phase is to have my complete blood work and urine test performed which equires me to fast 8 to 10 hours without food or water prior to testing.
Right now, its still a wait and see situation. Waiting for the results to have a complete findings and status of my overall health as well as draw out corrective actions if there are major problems found.
I'll post for an update soon. Just visit this blog again.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dimsum Food

This is one that I also missed in the Philippines. When I was still in Cebu where I worked, whenever I go out on weekends and went malling either alone or with friends, I always end up eating dimsum. Whether its the authentic Chinese way of eating or not, I just love the different kinds of dumplings. In the Philippines we have the pork, chicken or beef over steamed rice. I loved them all.
Here in the US and Las Vegas in particular, there is Chinese Restaurant called Orchid Garden that offers dimsum favorites at lunch time. I went there several times already and the latest I went there was last Wednesday. Unfortunately they dont have the steamed rice toppings that I loved when I was still in Cebu but they offer chicken feet, also my favorite.
Here is a picture(above) that I took when I went dining at Orchid Garden.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sinulog 2008

Having actually participated twice in the Sinulog Grand Parade in Cebu City, I still long to be in Cebu and witness the pageantry and immerse myself in the rhythm and the beating of the drums that comes with sinulog dancing. Its been 7 years since I last witnessed the Sinulog festival. This is always one of the most awaited event in Cebu and in the Philippines as a whole. During the festival, people from all walks of life and from every part of the world come to Cebu City and witness the "mother of all festivals" unfold before their very eyes. How I wish I can be there again soon.

The festival is a week-long celebration and will culminate on every 3rd weekend of January. This year's celebration will be this Jan 19 to Jan 20. January 19, a Saturday will have the fluvial parade on the harbor of Cebu City and in the afternoon will be the procession of the image of Sr. Sto Nino, the Patron Saint of the city. On the following day which is a Sunday, the Mardi Gras and Grand Parade will start.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm Back!!!

At last after 2 weeks of painfully waiting for my laptop to be fixed, I was able to pick it up yesterday on my to work. It was frustrating as the hard drive was being replaced so I have to reinstall the programs that I've been using. Fortunately enough, they were able to backup all the files I had in my computer and I was able to put them back to their proper places and folders.

As of this writing, I'm still in the process of installing some of my accessories, like the printer and scanner, my external hard drive and the rest of the software that I used. I still have to install my Microsoft Office programs like Excel, Words and Power Point. This will take several minutes and I'm quite sleepy now. I'll work tomorrow morning and probably by the time I'm back here then i could start working with my computer again to install the rest of my programs.

So far the computer works fine although I wasn't able to start the Bluetooth program. Maybe I still have to search my computer's hard drive for the correct program to enable the software. I love my computer because of some of its features really fit to my needs, just like Bluetooth connectivity as well as its multiple memory card slots/readers.

To be honest with you, I'm not really satisfied with the work being done with my computer by the Geek Squad. I was not happy about their service. I will tell you about the details on my experence with Geek Squad in my next post. Meanwhile I really have to close down and go to bed as my eyes are already half closed and I'm pretty sure that there are words in this particular entry that were misspelled because I dont have time to review it before publishing.

Till next posting.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Best Way To Start The New Year

Before anything else, I would like to apologize that I'm a little bit slow on updates for The Daily Grind. There were a lot of things happening towards the end of 2007. First and foremost is my laptop computer. It was running wierd and I guess it caught some virus. Although I ran the anti-virus programs to clean it up, I decided to have it checked professionally. I dropped it off at Geek Squad located at Best Buy stores and I guess I have to wait for 10 days from Dec 29, the day I dropped it off, for them to complete the task. I asked the techicians or I would say the geeks to backup all my files, I mean all of them even if it seems not important. They may delete some programs that I had installed on top of the preinstalled programs when I bought my computer. Although I've been using my old and cranky desktop, its kind of slow and it could consume my patience to the limit. Nevertheless, I still used my desktop to update this blog now. Aside from my computer's problems, I really dont have that much happenings to talk about.

I started back to work last Jan 2 and what a great way to start the new year than work, work and more work. When I reported for work on that evening, the Robot-Rx that I've been working on had some problems on its envelope system. The envelope system is actually responsible to hold and store medications in an indiviual envelope assigned to each admitted patient in the hospital. This is the final step in the cart-fill process. I will explain more about the process on my next blog update, but for now just bear with me. Fortunately that night I was able to finish the cart-fill using the Robot-Rx with sporadic downtime of the EDS or envelope delivery system throught my shift. In the morning of Jan 3, the system itself bogged down. I contacted our field technician from Pheonix, AZ and asked him to come over to fix the problem. If this will not be resolved we will have to resort to manually pick all medications for each patient and we're talking about 2000+ doses of medicines, and indeed we had manual cart-fill that night. Fortunately the EDS was fixed by the morning of Jan 4 after shipping in a new motor that controls the conveyor belt. I stayed at work very late that morning to ensure that the inventory are maintained before the Robot starts full operations. This is also another reason why I wasnt able to update this blog for the past three days.

Right now, I'm waiting for the word from Geek Squad as to when I could pick up my laptop. Also since tonight will be my last night of work for the week, I can give a sigh of relief and will try to enjoy my short break of three days off.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year's Surprise

I had quite a surprise last Dec 31 from a long lost friend. I have a Japanese chatmate for quite awhile now. His name is Ken. We were chatting almost everyday to update us on everyday life's happenings. He particularly liked to be my friend so that he could practice his conversational English. He is a Japanese by the way and went to school to study English. My latest news from him is that he was planning to get married with his long-time girlfriend. Almost 2 years now that we were not communicating although I did not forget his birthday so every year I would greet him through email. We had such a good friendship online.
He gave me a surprise this New Year's eve by sending me some greetings via email plus a picture of himself, his wife and their puppy. Here I am attaching their picture.