Thursday, August 15, 2013

Two Main Events in New York City

In actuality, this is my second visit to New York City. The first one was in 2003 (if I'm not mistaken). I did visited the Ground Zero of the World Trade Center and they already started cleaning up of what remained of the ruins of the Twin Towers. I also went up to the Observation Deck of the Empire State Building.

On this second visit, I booked for a walking tour of the New World Trade Center including the 9/11 Memorial for all the victims on that fateful day including those who died on the 1993 WTC bombing. All the names of the nearly 3000 who perished were inscribed in bronze around the perimeters of the two pools. These two pools were actually the footprints or the exact locations of the North and South Towers who collapsed on that day. The new Tower 1 of the New World Trade Center is almost finished and is now the tallest building in the United States at 1776 feet.

The next tour that I booked myself in was for the Empire State Building. The difference this time was, I went up to take a breathtaking view of New York City at night.

I spent this day going to these tours by myself using the subway system. I have to admit though that I got lost a couple of times, mostly I took the wrong direction of the same train number. Fortunately I just got off on the next stop and went to the platform going the opposite direction.

Overall, this was quite a long day for me and my legs and feet were hurting. I need a very long sleep.

Traversing the NYC Subway System

Fortunately, my good friend Alain Ramos showed me how to use the subway of New York City. Its kind of a crash course for me. At the LaGuardia Airport, I purchased a 7-day Unlimited Metro Card that I could use for the subway trains as well as the public buses. Next he showed me how to read and interpret the subway map. I have read some tips online for first time NYC visitors and it said that bringing a subway map around really made you look a dumb tourist since in every station there are huge maps posted around as well as inside the trains. I actually downloaded the subway map app for me to use. The trick is to read and re-read the signs so that you will now where you're going. Of course its given that you know your destination. My "guide" went with me through the system and brought me from my hotel in mid Manhattan all the way down to Brooklyn where he lives. After having dinner in his house I went back to my hotel alone. He told me that I would never be a real New Yorker if I dont get lost in the subway system. That's a big NO for me. I dont want to get lost on the subway and end up in a dangerous place of the city, if there's such a place.

First Day in New York City Adventure

Touchdown at LaGuardia Airport. A good friend of mine picked me up and accompanied me to check into my hotel. My hotel is on the east of 51st Street between the 2nd & 3rd Avenues in Midtown Manhattan and its called The Pod Hotel or Pod 51 to identify its location. This is a cool and hip hotel and the downside though is its room is quite small and I have to share a bathroom down the hall. It doesn't matter to me because I am alone and besides I only need a safe space to sleep and leave my things. I have the option to get a private bathroom but the daily rate is quite steep. What I love most with this hotel is its location. There are a lot of shops and restaurants and the Empire State Building and other tourist attractions in Manhattan are just a few blocks away.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Have a Bypass (burger)

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I visited the downtown area yesterday to meet up with my friends & cowokers. We had lunch at the Heart Attack Grill along Las Vegas Blvd & Fremont Street. Being a Guinness record holder of the world's most unhealthy restaurant, we've got to try their products out of curiosity. By their menu offering of outrageously named burgers like the single bypass burger which is actually a regular single patty cheese burger, one can just imagine how a quadruple bypass burger would look like. Their butterfat shake has the world's highest fat content. Their french fries are advertized as being deep fried in pure lard. The rest in their menu are all dangerously unhealthy. After finishing my double bypass burger, my verdict is that it just taste like an ordinary cheese burger that I can find in my work's cafeteria or the burger that you can make at home. I found my own spinach cheese turkey burger much better than the bypass burgers. Their gimmick of hot nurses as waitresses, doctors as bartenders, all customers in surgical gowns and the perception of death after eating their food items are the big attractions for the tourists. Their caloric contents?....these are no different from McDonald's, Burger King, In-N-Out burgers and other burger joints out there.  Of course you'll drop dead one day after eating these burgers everyday, breakfast, lunch & dinner. By the way, if you could not finish you food, your sexy nurse would spank you with a paddle, just like mothers do.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


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Every time I go to my favorite Starbucks Cafe, I always use their free Wi-Fi connections. Logging into their free network, you will get some perks like free music downloads and free Apps. They always have these credit-sized cards with access codes that you can use to redeem these "goodies" from the Apple iTunes and App Store. If you don't like these downloadable "goodies" you can always delete them from your Apple devices. Most of the free music downloads are from Indie artists and upcoming artists. If you are also in luck, the App pick of the week might be the one you've been looking for. My latest downloaded App was called Over, where you can put texts in different fonts, color and sizes into your photos before sharing them online. They also have several templates that you can use for additional in-App purchases.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Morning Starter

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What a way to start the morning. On my way to the gym, I dropped by Starbucks for my favorite hot mocha with soy instead of milk. Coupled with a piece of banana walnut bread and some morning news over my iPad, life is still that enjoyable.

Sleepless in Vegas

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It's not actually sleepless. I worked extra day last Sunday so I planned to postpone my dinner treat for my dad for Father's Day. I slept early on Monday morning after work thinking that we could go out late in the afternoon. Unfortunately my mom was not feeling well so we cancelled our plans. I actually slept almost 10 hours and when I woke up it was already about 10pm. After watching tv for awhile, I went back to my room to try to go back to dreamland but unfortunately I only kept on tossing and rolling on my bed. There was nothing else to do so I just played around with my iPhone cam and the resulting is this collage of my selfie pictures that I just did.

Monday, June 17, 2013

BURGR - Best in Town?

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A weekend ago, I had a chance to meet up a coworker and dine at BURGR owned by a famous celebrity chef from Food Network, Gordon Ramsay, hence the spelling of his new restaurant's name. Unfortunately, I was a little late in going there and we had to catch up a show later. I wasn't able to enjoy much of the food because we were in such a hurry. They say its one of the best gourmet burger in town but it was unfortunate that I wasn't able to enjoy my burger sandwich. My burger had a fried egg in it and I even forgot its name. Anyway I decided that I need to go back to BURGR and try to enjoy my time in there. Maybe I could get a better review of it next time around. I think they deserve a second visit or two.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dining Nook

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Over the weekend, I went to watch a movie and on my way home I felt hungry. It was already very late and most of the restaurants were already closed for the day. Fortunately, I passed by a Subway Restaurant and they are open 24 hours. I went inside and since it was late already, I was the only customer that time. I was then able to snap a picture part o the interior of the place.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Starting the Day

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I went to a Starbucks Coffee joint this morning before going to the gym for my Zumba. While sipping on my hot soy mocha, I took a picture of my cup and played around with a photo app on my iPhone. First of all I used its blur feature by selecting an element that I wanted to remain in focus while blurring the rest of the picture. Next I chose the filter that complemented well with the scene. Finally I chose a frame that made the picture looked like an old photograph.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Follow the Leader?

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Driving home along the freeway from work this morning, I happened to be following another car with with a most fitting caption written on its back or rear windshield. It said "COME FOLLOW ME" and I literally been following it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Oil on Canvas

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I'm on it again, trying to capture artworks on display in my work place. In one of the hallways in the hospital where I worked, this is one of the framed paintings on display.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quickie Breakfast

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I had a quickie breakfast this morning with a friend before I went to the gym. I made sure that I only had a very light meal since I was going to do the Zumba. They said that you may eat a meal at least 2 hours before you exercise and that was what I did. We went to IHOP(International House of Pancakes) and while waiting for our order, I snapped the above picture of the restaurant's window looking out to the street.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Makeshift Polarizer

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I went to Red Rock Resort & Casino this afternoon to watch a movie. After the movie on my way to the parking lot, I saw that the sun was almost setting. It was still hot outside even if it was already around 7:20 pm. I tried to get a picture of the sunset but it was too bright for my iPhone camera. Then I tried to use my sunglasses as a filter. The polarized sunglasses was a very good filter. It served as a good UV filter as well as a polarizer. It dimmed the sun's rays a little bit so the resulting image was not overexposed.

Depth of Field

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This is just a random picture that I took this morning when I went to the gym. I tried to use the depth of field with my iPhone and I successfully achieved it without using any photo apps at all. I just focus on the flower by touching screen until the square focus area appeared, that allowed the background images to slightly blur.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ebook Reading

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I just got my copy of Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno. This time though, its an electronic copy commonly called an eBook. In the past, I've been acquiring "audio books" and listened to them on my iPod or on any mp3 players. This is another format of electronic books that are also gaining popularity. Audio books are more popular with busy people who doesnt have the time and luxury to sit and read an actual book. What's more, it is very portable. You just listen to it just like listening to music from your   portable devices using a headphone. For those people who still are into actual reading, eBooks are for them. You need devices like an eBook reader, or any tablet in the market today. You can still use your computers or laptop but to be more portable, tablets are the devices to use. What's cool with eBooks is that you can highlight any word on the text in order to define it or to find more related information by automatically cross-referencing that word to available information from the internet. You can also adjust the text sizes to suit your reading preferences. Bookmarks is also a cool feature to directly resume your reading where you had left off. By the way, eBooks & audio books are much cheaper to buy as compared to buying the actual hardcopy of the book.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Morning Coffee

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It's a Wednesday, my first day back to work for this week. To start my day I'll be going to the gym but dropped by Starbucks first for my hot soy mocha. Sipping on my coffee outside the coffee shop, I saw this small bush of flowers that I need to take a picture of. Taking it on another perspective, it looked like its a whole wall of these flowers when actually its only a foot high.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Day in the Gym

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On Tuesday morning, I went to the gym to attend my Zumba class. Most of the time when I go to the gym, I usually get my favorite power lift smoothie from the Juice Bar. Its a good protein source after an intense workout. It consist of a ripe banana, blueberries, apple juice, protein powder & yogurt. Try it, so easy to do. I did my own power lift at home and it was as good as the one I get from the Juice Bar.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Great Day to Remember

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It's a very gorgeous day today. Woke up early and planned to go to the gym for my Zumba class unfortunately group classes today were cancelled because its Memorial Day. Before I went to the gym, I needed some caffeine fix so I dropped by the Starbucks for a tall hot mocha.

Talking about Memorial Day today, I would like to thank all that have served and those currently serving in the military for putting themselves in harms way just to protect the very freedom that we are enjoying today. We also remember those that have fallen and those that are injured.  You are our true heroes. Thank you for your sacrifices.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


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Had breakfast today after work with a friend. We went to one of our favorites, Panera Bread Café. We had soufflé, panini sandwich and some iced acaì tea. With the hot weather starting, iced beverages is now the fad.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Light Fixture 2

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Eating in a restaurant most recently allowed me to take another picture of a lighting fixture. This time around it has more of a contemporary style rather than eccentric.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kung Fu Panda

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Is he doing an arabesque or a kung fu side kick?
When I was watching a movie over the weekend, I saw this life size prop of Kung Fu Panda set on a corner of the theater lobby. I saw the two movies and love it though. Inwas alone at that time and if only I had somebody with me, I could have gotten a picture of myself and the panda. I guess I was a silent fan.

Bright Morning Sun

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This is just a random picture that I took in our neighborhood one morning on my way to the gym. I used this in my InstaWeather app for that day. What I love about this picture is that I was able to catch the bright sun without overexposing the whole image. I was only using my iPhone camera so it could have been better if I used my DSLR camera. I guess my phone cam did a good job with it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Emergency Arts

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This is just a random street picture that I took at a portion of the Las Vegas downtown area. The main focus is an old medical center being converted into an Emergency Arts Center. They still retained the hospital motif where the old ward rooms are now housing different art galleries. The lobby on the corner ground floor is now a bar/cafe.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Billy Elliot on Broadway

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I had a night out last night. I purposely took a time off from work to be able to watch the broadway production of Billy Elliot. I have watched the movie long time ago and I want to watch how it would look like on the broadway stage. The show was totally cool and the kid playing Billy was a superb dancer as well as a singer. I can just imagine what will he become when he grows up. I think he was still around 12 years old. I had my best friend with me and before the showwe had a nice Thai dInner. After the show we went to the Freemont area to watch some cool bands doing their gigs. We hit Denny's Restaurant for late nachos snacks before heading home.

The featured photo is the Reynolds Hall where the show was held inside The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Weather App

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Got a new App called Instaweather Pro. You can use weather template over your photo and you can instantly share your weather to your friends via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. The app is actually free but if you upgrade to the pro version there are more templates that  you can use.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Light Source

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This featured photo is another light fixture inside a restaurant. I love to play around with the intensity of the light source using some filter apps. Darkening it some more to focus on the light itself.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Car Wash

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I have finished my 3 days off with not much fun fare. I brought my parents to a seafood restaurant for Mother's Day dinner. For the next two days, I've been staying in the house because of the hot weather. We were already hitting triple digits during the tail ends of Spring. Today is my first day to go back to work. I went to the gym and then have my car washed since I no longer see rain to occur much sooner.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Second Lazy Day

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This is my second day of just staying home. I guess I'm not yet ready for the summer heat. I went to the gym this morning but when I got home I simply didn't want to go out because the weather temperature is approaching triple digits again. I initially planned to watch a movie but I guess I was just being overpowered by the laziness in me.
Wow, my life is fast becoming a boring one.

Monday, May 13, 2013


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We are still in the month of May but Las Vegas today is getting hotter, we approached triple digit temperatures already. We hit 102degF today and the forecast for tomorrow is also at 100 level. Today"s hot weather made me lazy. I did went to the gym this morning and then went to have my haircut. Once I got home, I was just lounging around watching tv and eventually took a nap. I didn't realize that I was this tired.

Dinner Date

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It was Mother's Day and also a Sunday. We went to church early in the afternoon and after that we went to have dinner at one of my favorite seafood restaurants. The restaurant's location is on the strip and they have a patio where they can also serve dining overlooking Las Vegas Boulevard. We took the patio since the sun was setting already so it was getting cooler. Dinner was good and was reasonably priced given the fact that the location is on The Strip where there are lots of tourists around.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

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Its Mother's Day tomorrow for Americans and I guess for the rest of the world. My Mexican friend said that their Mother's Day always falls on May 10th but nevertheless we ought to love our mothers everyday so it should not matter when you will celebrate their special day because for me each day in a mother's life should be special. We owe everything to our mothers. The nine months that they carried us on their bellies, and the days, weeks, months and years that they cared for us after our birth. The time that we were conceived in their womb, their lives were totally changed. We became their main priority as our needs always come first at all times. Whatever we become later in our lives, its all because of our mothers.

I would like to take this opportunity to greet all my family and friends who are mothers, would be mothers as well as their own mothers, a very happy Mother's Day.

To my very own mother, Happy Mother's Day Mama Em. I love you so much.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pressed Art

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This particular framed artwork is found in one of the restrooms in our hospital. I particularly attracted to this piece because I vividly remember that I had a similar art project when I was still in the elementary school. Remember book pressed flowers? You pressed a flower inside the pages of a book. Let it remain in there until it dries up and ready for framing. In this case though, these are dried leaves from different trees, set on a hard cardboard backing and framed.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

San Francisco

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San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I always love the weather in there. When my younger brother came over for a visit last August of 2011, we embarked on a road trip to Northern California to attend the Maasin Fiesta celebrations which was spearheaded by some friends from the Philippines. We allocated about a week to be able to make some side trips to some interesting places along the way. One of our many stops was in San Francisco. Actually we spent two nights in San Francisco that included a whole day of sight seeing around the city. If I were to choose where I would move next if ever I would leave Las Vegas, I would definitely want to live in San Francisco. It would be an interesting place to reside.

The picture above is a fridge magnet depicting the famous cable car that traveses within downtown of San Francisco. This is very popular among the tourists. If ever one gets to visit this beautiful city, taking a ride on a cable car is a must thing to do.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Heart Sculpture

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When I went to Regal Village Square to watch a movie, I noticed that there were several sculpture being installed around the whole area. These art pieces were dedicated to St Jude Children's Hospital.  Each artist have their own interpretation of the human heart. This particular piece is a sculpture of a human heart decorated with a kaleidoscope of colors and images that represent its environment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Red Rock Casino

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Last night we went to Feast Buffet inside the Red Rock Hotel & Casino for dinner. This is one of our favorite buffet restaurant because it has better choices of food as compared to other buffet restaurants and most importantly my dad have always player's discounts and even rewards points towards free buffet. On our way out, I took this picture of the property's facade with their stylish water fountain on their main entrance.

Monday, May 6, 2013


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I rarely get a chance to take a picture of rising sun. Sunsets are much easier to catch because you just have to wait for the right time and you have the whole day to wait for it while you really have to wake up early in the morning hours to be able to catch a glimpse of the sunrise.

While I was doing my rounds this morning, I happened to pass by a window directly looking towards the sun beginning to rise. I immediate took my iPhone, waited a few more seconds and took a snap. It was a good timing for me since there was a little cloud cover that helped filter the blinding rays.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Framed Art

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This is another framed artwork on the hallways of our hospital particularly on the newly renovated area.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hospital or Gallery?

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Would it be nice if you happen to be admitted in a hospital that is clean and beautiful? This is not an advertisement for the hospital that I worked with, but recently our hospital had undergone various stages of renovation. The newly renovated area have hallways that can be easily mistaken as a gallery. Framed artworks hang on the walls and I guess this speaks a lot to the kind of culture the company has. I guess all these art pieces may make the whole hospital feel more cozy and homey and patients as well as visitors can feel relaxed when they enter the premises. Every time I do my rounds, I can't help but stare on these art pieces as I pass by. The featured picture for today is just one of these framed artworks that graced the hallways of our hospital.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hong Kong

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As what I have blogged before about my mom's collection of fridge magnets, I would try to focus on each item and tell the story about what I remembered from that trip.

It was our first overseas trip as a whole family. That was February of 2007. Together with us was my brother's family, too. We embarked on a Hong Kong tour that included a visit to Disneyland and Ocean Park. There were other side trips to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, Victoria Harbor, The Peak while on board the Peak Tram and of course the night market. Our Hong Kong tour was in time for the Chinese New Year. We were able to witness the longest, biggest and most spectacular fireworks display that we've ever seen. It was held at the Victoria Harbor. Embarking on a guided tour has its advantages and disadvantages. If you are on a guided tour, you get to see and visit all the most popular tourist destinations and attractions the city has to offer. The disadvantages though is that you cant have your own time. You are always on the run to catch up with time or else you can get separated from the group. It was hard for us to totally absorb the beauty of the place that we visited because because you have the schedule to follow. All you can do is to immediately snap pictures and maybe you can fully appreciate the beauty of the place that you visited by looking at the pictures later. It was totally overwhelming. Overall, it was quite an adventure but the bottom-line though was that the whole family was enjoying each other.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Souvenir Shops

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Whenever you visit a new place specially if its for the first time, you may want to get something from that place that would serve as a reminder of the happy or not-so-happy moments you experienced in that place. Las Vegas, being one of the major tourist destinations in America also boasts with many souvenir shops all scattered throughout the city. This particular souvenir store in the featured photo today is one of the biggest souvenir shop in the city. Its actually a combination of various shops that has their own specialty items to offer to tourists and locals alike. It may be t-shirts, play cards, souvenir mugs and shot glasses, miniature wine bottles and a lot more. This is just a part of the whole business center, it actually occupies a whole block on a street corner.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


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After trying out my new macro lens for my Nikon DSLR camera, I went back to where my thrill of macro photography started. I used again my cute little macro lens attachment for my iPhone. Again what will be the easiest subject that you can find around your house are the flowers. So here again is another macro shot of a flower using my iPhone's lens attachment.

Theater 3

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Gateway to entertainment. Movies used to be one of the cheapest form of entertainment. Nowadays, with advancements in technology on imaging and sound reproduction, cinema theaters are also increasing their ticket costs. If you want to watch a more technologically advanced movie like 3D and IMAX it costs even more. That's why online movies for streaming and downloads are already the norm in watching movies. Even DVD rentals are still in business. Make no mistake, I specifically mentioned DVD and not VHS or even Betamax tapes. These are no longer in circulation. Despite all these affordable alternatives to watch movies, people still patronize movie theaters because these are first run and newly released films. DVD copies are only available about 3 to 6 months after a movie is being shown in theaters.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Heating Up

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It's amazing that we are still on spring season in the month of April but temperatures are hitting above 90 degF already. Fortunately it was forecasted to be windy starting tomorrow, Tuesday so it won't feel hot that much. The afternoon sun's rays directly hit into my room's window so it seemed like I was baked inside while sleeping. I have to turn on our air conditioning system to be able to sleep.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fridge Magnets

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My mom is an avid collector of fridge magnets. She placed all of them on display on the front door of our kitchen refrigerator. These fridge magnets by the way is a work of art in their own right. Their basic purpose is to hold notes on the metal wall or any surface that can hold magnetic fields and a decorative item as well. The front side of our fridge is already full of these magnets and they already starting to invade on its sides. Every time we go or visit a new place the one item that my mom would buy as a souvenir are magnets that reflects the culture of that place we visited. So if you look closely on the array of fridge magnets on our refrigerator, you will basically know the places that we visited. If I go to some other places without my mom, I would see to it that I get her a magnet that would represent the place that I just visited.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


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This is just part of the random pictures that I took. This is actually wild flowers or I would say flower bearing weeds that grows in the front yard together with the lawn grass. Since this one was quite separated from the rest so I focused on it. I guess the title is appropriate enough.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Green Foliage

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It's getting hotter in Las Vegas. Summer is just around the corner. Flowers are in bloom and trees are back in their greens after a long hiatus during the cold months. Just taking random pictures of green foliage around the house.