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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

2 comments | Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Today is one big day for a blogger like me. This blog, yes, my other blog, has been cited in one of the articles of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Online's Infotech news section. It linked to a post I made a couple of days ago.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is the leading newspaper in the Philippines. Its online edition receives millions of hits a day. So, for a common blogger like me, getting a citation from the daily paper is more than enough to send me running to a bar for a big celebration.

I monitor the daily traffic for all my sites. My Composed Gentleman blog would average to about 1200 hits a day. Sometimes it can be over that. This site, however, gets only about a hundred or so since this was recently (re)launched (about a couple of months ago).

At around 8PM, U.S. time (10AM Philippine equivalent), I noticed a hit or two coming from the Inquirer's site. I didn't mind it the first time since, in most cases, I get referrers from other sites, hmmm, each referrer generating few hits.

So I checked the number of visits at 8PM and was satisfied for the 1500 hits. Two hours later, lalalala, it doubled. Wowowee!!! The cause? The Philippine Daily Inquirer as the referring source. Here is a traffic data (notice the 3435 visits) from my sitemeter.com account.
I checked my other tracking account. Google Analytics is more detailed when it comes to tracking visitors and referring sources. It also gives marketing strategies and keywords I could use to optimize my blog. Here are the top sources for the last few hours.
* [organic] indicates visitors referred by an unpaid search engine listing.
* [referral] indicates visitors referred by links which were not tagged with any campaign variables.
* (direct)[(none)] indicates visitors who visited the site by typing the URL directly into the browser.
Google Analytics also tells which referrals drive the highest quality traffic? It lists non-campaign activity coming via referrals from other websites. This is useful for tracking links that I don't have or cannot control. See the inquirer links?
Am I happy? Sure, no doubt. One more wish though: if you are reading this, link this blog so it could get the needed boast too :-)

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0 comments | Sunday, February 25, 2007

Last Friday evening was the thawing party for the Department of Geography and the GIS Center of Excellence. It was the first time that the two departments gathered together for a night of drinking and pure fun. I had more than enough drink that night. Thank God, I had friends with me going home. Otherwise, I'd be wandering in the cold, snowy night.

We played billiards and there was a time that luck was so kind to me that every shot was just so perfect that I couldn't believe myself that I shot it. It was like I was a pro-billiard player about to defeat Efren Bata Reyes (the great Filipino poll master). It was an awesome play of perfection and precision.

By the way, the bar was not the typical bar in town. It was privately owned. If I am not mistaken, it was a club for adult men. You must be a member of the club to enter it. The owner of the bar is the grandpa of one of the organizers from the Geography department. So, it was rent-free.

There was this sunglasses that was displayed on the bar. It was kinda old-looking and probably it was displayed for visitors to appreciate it, but not touch it. However, it never escaped our curiosity and quick hands. It moved from one face to the other. It landed on me. It felt cool.




If you want to see more photos from the party, it's here.

The last two days, the snow has been falling unceasingly. A snow storm warning is still raised as of this writing, even. While others hate it, I love it so so much. Although the roads are all covered and pathways are so difficult to traverse, I love the white scenes everywhere I look - the evergreens, houses, gardens - they all look the same. What about this bicycle? Isn't it great to maybe hide it in a pile of snow? HAHAHA.

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0 comments | Friday, February 23, 2007

Oh yeah, why would a friend assume that I do not need a ride?

I need a car. It's almost four months now when I arrived here in the US and honestly, I want to have a car. Although my office is only a stone-throw away from home that I could even go there with just my shorts on in the midst of winter, still, I need a car.

I need a car so I could travel. I need a car so I could attend parties in far-away states. I need a car so I could go for a coffee at the city center whenever I want. I need a car so I won't bother American friends for a ride.

Going back to my question: why would a friend assume that I do not need a ride?

All my friends know that I do not own a car. Why would this particular friend assume that I do not need a ride to a party that we, at our department, were suppose to attend? I found out that he gave my other colleagues a lift. However, he didn't care a fig to even ask me so.

Is it because never did I ask my friend to give me a lift, in so many circumstances, even if I badly needed so?

It is not my attitude to bother people (oh well, sometimes I do, especially when it comes to talking). I cannot afford to see my friends' time and effort wasted because here is this guy named Eric who keeps asking for a lift.

What I want? I want my friends to offer me the ride. In that case, I will be assured that they do it because they want it. No pressure from any request. They offer a ride because they have the time. Because they care. Because I am their friend.

Ah, I need a car!

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0 comments | Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Trapped in the library. That was what happened to me last weekend while doing my usual research rounds for the writing class. Not that I cannot go out of the building. It was just that the snow fall was quite heavy. While spending idle time, I busied myself by taking pictures inside the library and few shots of the snow.






Remember the post I did few days ago? You must read the previous story first before you could understand the whole thing. Here is the only note that was posted that time. Nothing was said about whom to call to when locked out. Nothing.

The day after I sent the email to the concerned officials, the note was changed. Now it has all the information necessary if ever the situation happens again. Just today, the director of the International Office called me on the phone and expressed her sympathy and sorry for what had happened. She knew that there was negligence on the side of the residential management. She was very comforting and I like her. I thanked her for the concern and the advice.

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Taco John's is a Mexican fast-food which currently has more than 400 restaurants in 24 states.

Potato Olés is perhaps Taco John's is best known for, and one of its more closely-held trademarked items. Potato Olés are round, bite-sized potato nuggets (much like tater tots) that are deep fried, and then coated with a special blend of spices and seasonings unique to the company.

Last weekend I ordered the Super Potato Olés. It is smothered with nacho cheese sauce. It is topped with onions, peppers, fresh tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese.

Since Taco John's is just a walking distance from the office and if ever I crave for something to eat on late evenings, it is very accessible. It is not comparable to Philippine's Jollibee. Why? Because in Taco John's, the drinks are bottomless. Fill when you can.

Although the prices are five times higher than Jollibee's value meals and the fact that the name sounds so Mexican (although I think the food has adapted to the American tastes), it is worth tasting and coming back.

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1 comments | Sunday, February 18, 2007

Worst things happen when you least expect them.

Last night, I had a very bad experience with my housing accommodation. So bad it was that it could even be credited as the the worst experience I ever had in all my far-away travels.

I was locked out. In a more understandable manner, it means, I was not able to enter my own residence hall in the middle of the night (I mean, early dawn). I work till wee hours in the morning and usually wrap up things around 2AM. Many would ask me why I do it. The best answer I could give is that, I am a night owl. Work efficiency reaches its peak when I get to work alone in a quiet night when there is no one I see and talk to. I could get problems figured out, ideas organized and book chapters reviewed. The silence of the night is my ever loyal companion.

It was around 3AM when I decided to go home and sleep. However, to my surprise, a note was posted on the door telling all occupants to report to the front desk to have the keys changed to new ones. The residential management replaced the security locks during the day for all doors around the hall. So I went to the lobby hoping to get my new key. Another surprise waited for me. Front desk was closed. Nobody was around. I was left with no option but to return to the office and sleep there. With my inside fuming with so much rage, I went back to my office, opened the PC and sent an email to the resident director, the residential staff and one for the international office.

I told them I was upset for them not posting a warning or anything like it in advance. I was furious in my email that I told them I wanted to file a complaint against the one responsible for this. It was a sure lapse of judgment. So, there I was in the office trying to find a place to sleep. I tried sleeping while sitting. It didn't work. Finally, I cleaned the desks for papers and books and squeezed myself into it, praying too that I would just be fixed in my sleeping position and never change, otherwise, the floor would have a big laugh when I fall.

I couldn't sleep. The office was beginning to feel like a refrigerator set to a chilling temperature. It was very upsetting!

Here is part of my email:

If you change keys without warning, why wasn’t there anyone at the front desk to attend to those who, unfortunately, weren’t able to read your note that was posted very late? Shouldn’t there be someone that would at least man the desk overnight?

I want an explanation for this. I also would like to file a COMPLAINT for this treatment. Because honestly, I cannot sleep in this STUPID little chair!!!!

I am writing this because I know I have the right since I paid full for my room for four months. All I need is a good management and a proper dissemination of information.


At around 8AM, I went back to the front desk and saw no one, still. Thirty minutes after and finally a guy with a very hoarse voice came out and entertained me. Furious, I told him about my disappointment. He said that there was a need to change keys since a guy (probably a maintenance guy) lost his set of keys and those keys could access almost all the rooms in the hall. He further said that I needed to talk to the proper authority, that is, to the hall director.

I slept inside my room finally and woke up around 2PM. When I checked my email, I had this:

I would like to apologize for the situation that you encountered. The lock change was necessitated by situations out of my control. The warning signs were posted all day, and the doors were not locked until 11pm. The desk was staffed until 3am, however I do not have staff present this weekend to staff the desk further. The desk hours for Saturday are Noon to 3am, and Sunday from 3pm to midnight. If you are not able to make it to the front desk during these hours because of your work schedule, please feel free to contact me on my cell phone at 605-690-9032 and I would be more than happy to arrange a time that is convenient for you to exchange your old security key for a new one. I am also working with my staff today to change all of the signs to contain more information to clearly explain how to contact someone after hours to get a new key. There is a procedure in place, and I apologize that it was not clear to you how to access staff after the desk closed. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact me via email or phone, or to set up an appointment with me through the front desk.


I accepted his apology since I understand their intention about the sudden decision of changing the locks. However, it would never change the fact that I haven’t slept a wink the whole morning and that I ended up shaking in cold, sitting inside the office while eating a cookie from a vending machine to ease a hungry stomach!

I emailed back:

The reason is commendable since it involves securing the hall for a possible intruder that might ransack the rooms. Nonetheless, in an emergency like this, all possible options must be exhausted and thought of so as not to endanger the residents indirectly. The solution must not become an additional problem.

The problem I saw was the failure to post on ALL door entrances the information of whom to contact to when locked out. Had I seen a post, I would have dialed the number and asked for help.

I ended by saying, "this is the worst experience I had and I am sure I cannot forget – very tormenting, emotionally and physically!


I still have to wait for a reply from the international office though. I'll update you about this soon.

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0 comments | Friday, February 16, 2007

Click here to know more on how to win a prize by sharing this video.

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1 comments | Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Execution by "firing squad" on day set aside for friendship

Recent Collegian article (click image to enlarge).

Who wants a date on Valentine's Day? No, I do not want one. No need to beat around the bush, I abhor the day. When St. Valentine sent the first "Valentine" greeting "From your Valentine" during the third century, I have this idea he wasn't after intimate love. Go Google it. The greeting was for the daughter of a prison guard who constantly visited him in his prison cell after he was caught not obeying or supporting the emperor's law on marriages. On the day he was sentenced to death, he left the note thanking the girl for friendship and loyalty.

The note was about friendship. Valentine was a good priest, and I think he couldn't allow himself to fall in love with a girl and abandon his holy vows. He was after friendship alone.

I ask, why do some people have to wear red or anything of that shade to attract potential partners on Feb. 14, when during this day of Valentine's death, he simply conveyed the message of appreciating our friends? I do not understand. The lack of a girlfriend or a boyfriend on Valentine's Day seems to be a curse in this day and age. I do not know how it works here in the United States, but in the Philippines, if you do not have a "date" on the 14th, you are a sure target of the "firing squad."

To those deficient in English, a firing squad is a method of execution where several soldiers agreeably fire on members of the condemned, typically restrained and hooded. In short, it is a supreme punishment of torture.

"Firing squad," interpreted in the light of Valentine's Day, means people (who happened to find their special someone in time for heart's day) persecute the unfortunate loveless for sharing Valentine's feelings and believing that it is a day of friendship. Afraid (or tired could be the superlative word) to answer queries about why they are still single and alone, the loveless take cover behind their office cubicles and pretend they have workloads to do. This way, they evade irritating torments from happy-to-be-attached office mates who obviously need a lecture about the history of Valentine's Day.

When I had this discussion on my blog, readers had different reactions to my perception. One said that the original meaning of Valentine's Day may have been different. But what it has become, either due to tradition or commercialism, is something that each and every one should respect. Another said that it has become a day for celebration of love - mostly romantic love. Even if you don't have a special someone, it is just nice to know that a day has been reserved for lovers. It has been that way for years, and its positive impact in strengthening bonds and adding spice to every relationship can never be understated.

Just to make my point clear, I am not against people who see it as a tradition of expressing love to someone dearest, and therefore are obliged to follow. What I don't like is the thought of doing it only on the 14th of February, when people could equally execute the same for the rest of the 365 days. Further, having no one special to celebrate it with is not frightful at all. I want everyone to know that Valentine's Day is for you and me and for every other single soul attached or unattached - and the day could still become perfect even if you are alone.

Lastly, if you are alone (unattached, uncommitted, single or unmarried) on Valentine's Day, don't fret. Dial an unattached, uncommitted, single or unmarried friend and explain to him or her what exactly the day is all about. Odd maybe, but your friend will believe you. Besides, he or she is in the same situation as yours. So, for those who are unattached, there is still something good to look forward to on this day.

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1 comments | Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nepal is a kingdom of various geographical features, and is culturally rich. I can say that after I saw a video presentation during the Nepal Nite 2007 at the SDSU Student Union. It was the first Nepal Nite event that was organized by the Nepalese Student Association at South Dakota State University.

The number of Nepalese students in the university has tremendously increased over the past decade. As of now, there are close to 40 students already (compared to two Filipinos only, hahaha).

The event was well-attended by young and old alike, from different nationalities. It was more of an international gathering, I should say. Food was awesome - a bit spicy and Indian-like. Though I couldn't taste a little of Filipino on it, still I had a plateful of food I truly enjoyed.

The cultural presentations were fun too. I get to see the different dances Nepalese do for different occasions or festivals. I wonder where they got all those colorful and shiny dresses, though. There was also a short act portraying the things they do when they commemorate "holy days".

After that evening, I was inspired to come-up with a Filipino presentation too. Maybe not in the near future. I should wait until more Filipinos would decide to study here. By that time, I would have more things to share to my American friends here and foreign friends as well.

Here are pictures I took with friends.





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0 comments | Sunday, February 11, 2007

It was fun! Someone told me a couple of days ago that I need to see it. It's the 4th Annual African-American Step and Drill Show. What is it? Initially I thought it was a tap dancing show, which I have a clear picture of since it is something Filipinos can certainly do.

However, this one is different. It is step and drill.

Step dance is the generic term for dance styles where the footwork is the most important part of the dance. Body and arm movements and styling are either restricted or considered irrelevant.

Stepping, has been popularized by National Pan-Hellenic Council and National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations member organizations. This step dance has African roots and is an African American tradition as well as part of Black History. The members of the fraternities and sororities join in steps — elaborate synchronized group routines that are performed in competitions between the fraternities and sororities called "step shows."

Step shows incorporates cheerleading, military, and drill-team moves, especially the call-and-response element inherent in those forms. These aspects are not only important to the energy of stepping for entertainment use but also for bonding and pride within their organizations.

Awed was the right word to describe the feeling after watching the performances. The "step" teams were simply awesome. Participating teams came from different universities: Show Stoppers from Southwest Minnesota State, Omega Psi Phi from University of Minnesota, Delta Sigma Theta from University of Oklahoma, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta both from University of Nebraska-Omaha, Cyclone Steps from Iowa State University, and the Black Student Alliance from South Dakota State University. There was also the "drill" team from Iowa State University, Marching Cyclones.

Watch the videos. You will love the step and drill show and wish you know it yourself. One more thing, you should watch the entire video since I combined the individual performances.


Among all performers, here is my favorite. The Delta Sigma Theta from University of Oklahoma. These ladies are real performers, man!

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4 comments | Thursday, February 08, 2007

It is Thursday. I am supposed to be reading my article in the Collegian newspaper. However, after seeing a copy of it, I was devastated. The news editor, named Y, decided at the last minute not to run my article after there was a shortage of space. I could have accepted the fate, yet, there was no word from her about the cancellation of my weekly column. Days ago, she was even the one asking if I would have an article for this week's issue. Of course I said yes and submitted it on time -- before her set deadline.



I sent her this email:



Hello Y,



I've seen the copy of this week's issue.



First, I am wondering why my article didn't get through the publication. It was submitted on time as you have noted in your previous email (see below)regarding column deadlines.



Second, I think you should inform the columnist if entries don't get published, shouldn't you? I had an article few months ago that suffered the same fate.

However, Jeremy was so kind to inform me of the lack of space, which of course I accepted with no remorse, at all.



I have been expecting mine to come out this week and was completely disappointed that not even a note from the Collegian staff (or from you) that the article was pushed aside. I find it a little ironic for you to send me an email asking if I would have an article for this week and yet you didn't run my submission.



Can you please send me a copy of the responsibilities and rights of a Collegian columnist as probably mentioned in your by-laws?



I hope to get a clarity on this column editing lapses.



Thank you.



Sincerely,

Eric




She answered:



Hello, Eric,



First, my apologies for not letting you know sooner. Earlier in the week when I contacted you, I had been planning for two pages of opinion material. However, the decision was made to cut back to one page, and I couldn't run all the material I had originally planned.



Second, I apologize for not letting you know sooner about your column not running. Please know that I intended to e-mail you about this, but I didn't know for sure until late yesterday. Again, my apologies for not letting you know sooner.



Please know that I would like you to continue submitting a weekly column (if you want to send another one for next week, that would be fine. If not, that's OK, too). I will, in the future, do my best to immediately e-mail you if we run out of space again.



Again, my apologies. Let me know if you want to visit further, or have any more concerns.



Y




This is just part of what I wrote back:



Y,



I just want professionalism. We are both students and for sure we both love what we do in the Collegian. I've read your previous articles and see a bright future for you as a writer. But we always have to act professionally and not put aside our journalistic responsibilities. Otherwise, nobody would trust us. Nobody will believe what we write.



Maybe it would be best that in your next staff meeting, you could suggest to just assign a week when a columnist should submit his/her piece. This way, we will all

have individual responsibility to take care of. I can sense at present that columnists just give an article whenever they feel like, which I think is risky.



I would reiterate that I am capable of producing one article weekly, but if assigning one week a month for every columnist is best for the Collegian, then I'd fully support it.



Eric




I am thinking, is there a specific law that I could bank on to protect my rights as a student journalist? I studied law in the Philippines. Now that I am in the U.S. I am not sure how the laws work here. One more thing, is there something as racial discrimination in journalism?



Update: I deleted the name of the person involved here. It is time to move on and I want to make peace with everyone, and to Ms. Y.

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0 comments | Tuesday, February 06, 2007


If you are a fisherman, how would you fish? I tell you, it is not easy if you don't know anything. One must know the basics of fishing to assure a good catch.

When I was invited to attend a First Baptist Church service last Sunday, I was hesitant. I am a Catholic who has a good foundation of my faith, being an active believer. If I am not mistaken, I wrote a number of articles that circled the topic of Catholic faith and religion. These articles were published in magazines locally in the Philippines. I believe in the Holy Trinity, in the power of making the sign of the cross, in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the miracles saying the rosary may bring.

Adam is the fisherman. He might not be the best fisherman around, (he failed to convince other colleagues) but he knows how to fish. When he cast the rod by handing me the invitation card, I didn't immediately take the bait. As I said, I was hesitant. Then I bombarded him with questions: Will there be singing? Will there be lots of praising? Will you be kneeling? There were a lot more. He said YES to a few questions and NO to most.

After some thought, his fishing brought him a fish home. I said yes.

Pause: To my Filipino friends who are reading this and are beginning to worry what I am ranting about, worry not. I have not changed my beliefs.

I said yes for the fact that I want to listen to songs of praise. I wanted to know what Adam is trying to convince me about. More so, the invitation card carries lines too catchy for my curiosity. It says "SPRING: a season of rebirth".

I took the bait that Sunday morning, walking to Church amidst the negative 20-something temperature that froze my cheeks. As I said to Adam, it is sacrifice. God rewards every sacrifice of love and time and patience.

Two gentlemen outside the entrance door met me. They introduced their names. But because I was feeling so chilly after a 15-minute walk, my memory and even my mouth have frozen all together. I smiled shyly at them. Off I went inside.

Two ladies met me at the next door leading to the hall. They said something I didn't even hear clearly. Remember, my mind was frozen minutes ago and was still beginning to defroze. Inside the hall, are people, or should I call them Baptists, about a dozen of them - shaking hands, chatting happily like they haven't met for eons. Adam? Well, he never came early and left his fish swimming in a water of exhaustion for almost half an hour. HAHAHA. You should have seen my eyes rolled left and right, top to bottom, in total sheepishness of being the only guy in the room with no one to talk to.

Five minutes later, a guy in a formal attire who certainly had sensed my solitude and uneasiness, came towards me in decent strides. Extending his hand for a shake, he introduced himself as Pastor Gavin. It was a quick interview with the usual exchange of hellos and smiles. Before he left me alone (again), he said "I'll talk to you after the service", which, by the way, didn't happen.

At this juncture, all I pondered on was to be released back into the water. The hook seemed to amputate my heart, diminishing its capacity to be at least cordial and leaving this fish the thought of being the unwanted fish in a net full of fish catch. I thought of leaving.

After some more minutes, two other people came to me and tried to start a conversation. "I am ______." "Hi." "I am ______." "Cool" "Are you from SDSU?" "Yes, I am." "Cool." "Which department?" "GIS". Pause. Their eyes suggested I shouldn't have used the acronym. "I mean Geographic Information System." "Oh, cool". The guy just loved the word "cool". I say something, he says "cool".

More minutes and Adam arrived - just in time for the service. Let me tell you how it went.

The service was like the "General Prayer Meetings" I had back home. There were entrance songs, though, these were more solemn, unlike home that we start it with lively and fast songs to welcome people. There was the greeting or blessing of one another. That was "cool". Then there was the cleansing. This is the part when you get to wash yourself from all your iniquities and acknowledge your transgressions.

The offertory part was somewhat surprising. It was done even before Pastor Gavin Retzer gave his pastoral message. I am not sure if Baptists also follow the 10% tithing as Catholics do.

Pastor Gavin was very inspiring in his speech. He mentioned how the church was about to close for the lack of "fishes". There was not enough fish to catch in the sea. Or maybe there was. Fishermen were not just devoted to catching them. Or maybe they were fishing in a section of the sea devoid of any.

Pastor Gavin never lost hope and initiated a "replanting", or more appropriately "re-fishing". That explains the tagline "Spring: a season of rebirth". The church has to be born again and let a new breed of fish start it anew. Let the free-swimming young light the torch for a new season and a new hope.

Everything what the Pastor said about faith, loving, glorifying and serving God is thought-provoking and persuasive except the portion when he tried to compare the First Baptist church to churches of other religious sects. I dislike the part when he said that "their church is different and that there is no other church like it." In my own opinion, this is not the correct way to "fish". Mormons say that. Many other religions claim that too. Honestly, I am tired of those words.

To convince the new school of fish is not to compare what the First Baptist church has that other sects have been deprived of or blessed with. I think the best way to make the "fish" stay or make them jump to the fish basket themselves, is to tell the wonders of being with God. Share something about the advantages of being a bible-believing Christian. Tell them about the direct access to the great and wonderful God who created the universe and all life on earth - the God who can answer any prayer, and who offers eternal life! These are things I want to hear.

I always believe that Pastors or Priests are just mediums used by God. Whatever they say must come from God. Therefore, there is no need for them to worry about other churches. When they fish and they start to convey the message of God, the new "school of fish", I am sure, will listen to them, because it is not them speaking in the first place. It is God through them by the power of the Holy Spirit. Once the Spirit works, the Spirit works wonders. It will be manifested when those little fishes you released from the net will come back and jump into your boat in your next adventure to the sea, even if you do not have to cast your bait out to fish them.

I want to end this post by mentioning this: while I was there I felt a sense of belongingness. Why? After the service, everyone was just eager to introduce himself or herself to me. Adam did a good job of going through the process of mentioning my name and then my school and then my hobbies and then my age......all over again, each time a new person comes along.

Will I attend the next service? You will know once I post another article about it here. Maybe by that time, I will feature other fishes.

One last thing, the choir needs a second voice. Blending is the key :-)

Keep posted everyone.

Blog feature of the day: Bestest Blog of All-Time

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0 comments | Sunday, February 04, 2007

There is a sweet childish attitude in all of us that we cannot let go. Although our mature minds dictate that we need to grow up, the child in us just keeps holding us back. However, keeping the attitude isn't bad and doesn't hurt either.

The one attitude I have is bringing in a playfulness atmosphere when I am with friends. I have always believed that the fun, frolic and childish attitude that I generate would not only "reduce inhibitions, but also curtails tensions".

My sister has her share of this playfulness thing too. Our friends like it and they love it when we are around. Collecting stuff is also one childhood hobby my sister cannot give up. I do not know when it exactly started. Could be that time when she had her first childhood crush, way back many many years ago.

My sister is a sweet lady and she likes the color yellow. That could very well explain why her collection is the sweet-looking baby canary bird, Tweety. Tweety is fictional character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated cartoons.
It is among the most popular of the Looney Tunes characters, especially (because of his "cute" appearance and personality) among girls and young women.

Here are a few stuff my sister owns. There are still a lot of this little Tweety thingy not shown here though.









Couple of Tweety facts: In the documentary Bugs Bunny: Superstar, animator Clampett stated that Tweety had been based "on my own naked baby picture". More importantly, Tweety is and has always been a male character.

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0 comments | Friday, February 02, 2007

Asking a question in class is one thing. Interrupting a professor harshly is another. Oh please, if you are not asked to answer the question, keep your mouth shut! Others are keeping mum about this. But if you just know it, they are actually pissed off.

There is no wrong raising a question to your professor. In fact, I see it as a good sign that a student is attentively following the discussion. A question raised is not only beneficial to the one who asked it, but to the rest of the students as well. Most professors, if not all, encourage students to ask, even.

What I hate most is when you suddenly bellow in a corner to get the professor's attention. Is there a way you can do it softly? Or, if put appropriately, politely? Many at times, you answer boisterously questions despite the fact that it wasn't addressed to you. Com'on, don't show to everyone your pompous behavior when you get the answer right. One thing more, if one of your classmates inquires a thing that sounds easy to you, don't humiliate him/her in class by your uncalled-for side remarks and evil grins. Respect your classmate's opinion like how the rest of them respect your exaggerated, over-the-top knowledge demo.

I have been a professor myself for 8 years. I tell you, I do not tolerate such a "rude" approach of my students inside the classroom!

Remember, you are not the only one in class. You have to think what others think about you when you do that. Time will come when someone will really have the courage to square things with you. You will then know how it feels.

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