Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photohunt: Metal

A metal screen door is a common sight on front doors here in the Philippines.

This is because we live in a tropical country, and it gets really warm sometimes, a practical way of addressing this is leaving the door open to allow fresh air in which unfortunately attracts thieves and mosquitoes, best response? Attach a metal screen door. It allows the air in and keep the pests out.

Here's the man we hired to build us a screen door.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Christmas List (My first Christmas post!)

Tagged by Ceemee

This didn't really come with instructions. My liberal interpretation of this meme is that I try to put up my Christmas wish list and you try to make it come true. Ready? Go!

Material stuff:
1. Books always work for me... I still haven't read Books 9, 10 and 11 of Wheel of Time Series... I've always meant to read Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, Blink (see update below) and his new one The Outliers.

2. Practical stuff works too... I don't like buying clothes, so if your fashionable and think you can rub some of your fashion sense on me, feel free to try.

3. I've been meaning to get a foldable bike.

"Big" stuff:
1. Gift of your time and your ears. I'd like to share someone really important to you. He's someone who gives me hope and assurance and I I'd like you to meet Him too. It's the perfect season too, after all it's His birthday.

2. If you want to give me a gift that's really a gift for you, just go ahead and sponsor a kid at World Vision. (If you're interested and want to ask questions, feel free to contact me.)

3. Discipline and drive. Honestly, if you have a suggestion as to how I'll manage to get these 2 things, I'll appreciate it.


1. Hmm... something really helpful like inside information. If you have any tips to give me, say Oscar dela Hoya is throwing the match, maybe a certain stock will hit the roof, or whatever... that would be most welcome.

2. Hard cash!

3. If you still can't choose from those listed above, easy choices include a new phone, a laptop (or a mini notebook hehe), a car, Wii, a job that pays 7 digits/annum (ok, so this one is pretty serious--if you want to pirate me, please, I'm willing.)

Super wishes:
1. Ability to fly (if you can grant this, forget the car but I still want the bike).

2. Ability to read minds (not hear them like in What Women Wants mind you--that would be maddening).

3. Charm... oh wait, I already have that, except I'm somehow only able to charm the young ones and the young once... can't figure out the ones in the middle.

Oh, and if your planning to get me something that's not on this list, just go ahead and surprise me. (WARNING: Pens, towels and mugs are not considered surprises.)

Hmm... let me see, let's see if we can tag these people out of their lethargy: Cams, Miss Elle, Kaycee, Runawat Cat, and Rian. To you 5, if you want to avoid receiving mugs and pens this Christmas, do this meme. Let that serve as my warning to you.

NB If you don't know me and came across this list and somehow think, "My, how cheeky! Maybe I should grant a wish or 2 (or 3)..." You're more then welcome to do so.

UPDATE: I managed to acquire a copy of blink in a bazaar I attended last Saturday for only P150... it's a little below half the price because it's pre-owned, but it's in very good condition! Yay! To anyone who's considering giving me a book as a gift? It doesn't even have to be new! I'm of the philosophy that it's the content of the book that matters, not the cover. Oh, and I'd been wishing I could get a hold of a copy of Freakonomics too hehe... That's all folks! (12.01.08)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Photohunt: Reflection (Pasta Scientifique)

Today I had the opportunity to reflect on the science of gastronomy with Pasta Scientifique!

Pasta Scientifique is part of a series of creative and informal fora designed by Cafe Scientifique to reach and teach a variety of audience to see and appreciate science in all aspect of our lives. They discuss the science of everyday things in this case pasta preparation! Cool huh?

Here we have Cibo's very own Margarita Fores (middle) teaching us a few of her recipes and Mitzi Borromeo (left), Philippine coordinator of the Cafe Scientifique as moderator.

They showed us how to prepare 3 of Margarita Fores' own recipes and gave us insights on pasta preparation.

Farfalle alla Genovese, a ribbon-shaped pasta with sauteed mushrooms, cream and Pesto Genovese--a basil pesto made in the classical way using mortar and pestle.

I'm not sure I'm gourmet can tell the difference between hand prepared pesto as to a food processor prepared one, but this is definitely yummy! This is also the first time I was able to taste pasta that actually had it own taste. Apparently, the secret is to actually put a lot of salt in the water used to cook the pasta. She said if it doesn't taste like sea water yet, there's not enough salt.

Spaghettini al Pomodoro Crudo, spaghettini in raw marinated tomatoes with garlic and sweet basil

This is a culinary delight indeed! So good yet so simple to prepare. Basically, she marinated tomato in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper for an hour and voila! She suggested that when choosing tomatoes for this you should pick the overripe ones, ones that are soft and plump and easily bruised for these are the sweetest ones. She also suggested leaving the tomato seeds in.

Fettuccine al Bolognese

Here she used fresh egg pasta. Again, I can't say I can tell the difference except that again this is good. She says that when cooking pasta, it's important to use enough water (5L per 500g of pasta) at the right temperature (i.e. when the water is boiling vigorously). Don't use oil, to prevent pasta sticking from each other, just give it a quick stir right after you put the pasta in the water. And while one is advised to follow package instructions as to the time it takes to cook, one should always check the pasta to see if it's al dente (i.e. soft enough to eat, but firm enough that it bites back).

It really was a delightful learning experience. And what made the whole thing even more interesting is the presence of the scientists! Yeah, there were physicists, and chemists who were there because they wanted to help clarify certain concepts or rather misconceptions.

That's me being creepy and asking for an autograph and a photo-op hehe...

Cafe Scientifique is supported by the Mind Museum--a science museum project by the Bonifacio Art Foundation set to open in 2011 at wherelse? Global City, Fort Bonifacio--near Bonifacio Highstreet just across Market Market. Isn't that something to look forward to? (Check out the video on their site, really exciting stuff!) If you want to participate in some of their future activities (like I hear they've planned a session where they tackle the sciences of shopping and the physics of magic) you may email them here.

NB If you have questions or if you want copies of the recipe (which they graciously provided) feel free to leave me your email address and I will attend to that as soon as I can.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Photohunt: Together

Question: What do beads do when they get together?
Answer: I don't really know, but they sure turn out beautiful adornments!

The Chandelier

Victorian Style

Spiral Bracelet

These intricate beadworks are actually crafted by my friend Kat. I thought I'd post some of these to help her promote her work. In case you're wondering, yes, they're all for sale. And there are much much more stuffin her multiply but I only posted these three because I personally took these photos. Feel free to go there to contact her. You can also visit her as she's set to make an appearance at a few bazaars over the next few weeks.
  • November 17 to 21 (Monday to Friday) 8 to 5pm, she'll be at the UST Education Building where the College of Music is celebrating their college week.
  • November 29 (Saturday) at Hope Christian High School for the Hope Foundation celebration.
  • December 19 t0 21 (Friday to Sunday) 12noon to 10pm at the Noel Christmas Bazaar at the World Trade Center--her shops name there would be Pumpkin Gift Shop.
PS If you don't know these places feel free to ask me for directions. Have a great week everybody!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Photohunt: Blue Three!

Sky blue! The hue that lifts me up from being blue.

Clever marketing technique if you ask me. (Here's a close up.)

Here's something that I'm not sure is blue, but might make you blue. (That's the exact package for the stopwatch.)

And here's how much we paid for it. Now P85 may not seem much, but who knows how many P85 gets filched that way?

N.B. In case you wondered, the title is in fact a reference to Bioman's Blue Three.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Potpourri (including my photohunt entry last week)

Yes, I understand I've been gone quite a while, I've been rather busy. It's not even over yet, so kindly pardon me if I make a lazy short entry for now. I intend to make up for it in the coming weeks.
  • Now one of the reasons I was busy last week was because my brother got married last Sunday.

Yep, took that myself! Oh yeah, that's my new sis, Minnette. (More photos here.)
  • Also our friend Roger who's been in Melbourne for the past 8 years came to town to attend the wedding. We had a couple of dinners with friends chatting about old times--fun times! (Here are some photos.)

Got Roger to demonstrate his Aussie accent for us.
  • Oh, I remember asking for suggestions regarding my brother's bachelor bash. We did manage something at the last minute (i.e. last Friday evening). We had a cheap steak meal first at Slice and Dice which JC says you're better off cooking one on your own--cheaper and yummier. The sisig was alright though, crunchy and really not bad for it's price (P70+ if I'm not mistaken. We then went to Remote World1 where we played Wii, sang a couple of songs and ended up battling each other for Counter-Strike supremacy. I was teamed with JC and another friend against my brother and one of his friend. We let the groom-to-be win of course, it is his party after all.
  • Speaking of Wii, how would you like to win a Wii party package for 5 at Red Box? Now I'm talking top-of-the-line comfort, eat-all-you-can buffet for you and your friends free! If you answered yes, go ahead and head on over to Chicken Mafia for the details. You might want to hurry though, contest ends on November 15. (Here's my entry for the last time we went there.)
  • Oh, and if you love that, you might enjoy winning a bag too! Just head on over to Chicken Mafia "Bag a new bag from Bratpack" contest, share a funny story of yours that involves you and a bag, and you might be on your way to win a cool bag! You ought to hurry though, contest ends on November 14.
  • I realize that I wasn't able to post an entry to photohunt last Saturday because I was rather busy. The theme then was scary, here's my entry (though being 1 week late, I suppose this doesn't count anymore).
I don't know about you, but those electric lines sure look like a disaster waiting to happen to me.
  • Oh, and the NBA season is upon us! And do you know what that means? Fantasy basketball! Ok, so I finished 2nd to the last in my league last year, but that was my rookie year. I didn't do too bad considering I got invited to a more competitive league this year. This season I'm playing in 4 leagues: one using a PFC style selection where I managed to snag both 3rd round picks (out of a possible 14) and Stephen Jackson of the Golden State Warriors(not bad considering the guy who got the 1st pick had to choose Josh Boone in order to pick that high); the other 2 at ESPN, the Mafia League (the league I was in last year), and the more competitive Teo Invitational. And the last is a public league in UFC that I accidentally joined. I hope I do better this year, I bet I would win at least one, most likely the public league seeing as no one really takes UFC seriously anymore. Why? Because they suck! It's a shame that own game sucks big time.

1 Hmm... About the place, it's not classy or anything. The Wii sets were fine, the TV's were big enough, but there were no air-conditioning to speak off (something you know you'd need if you've ever played Wii before--though they do have a shower room), no soundproofing so you hear the drunk next door wailing My Way, and the rooms were more like partitions. Still the place wasn't bad for it's price. We spent maybe 3 hours there drinking and playing and all it costed us was P500 something bucks--total! I guess it's an OK place to go if you want to just hang out with the guys. Oh, and they are open 24 hours a day.