Sunday, 31 August 2008


Finally winter 2008 is officially over in a couple of minutes, at least here in the land of Oz.

End of putting on more weight, of feeling like a grizzly bear into hibernation, of winter cold nights... get the picture?

One of these days I'll learn how to snow ski and maybe I'll learn to love winter season more. What sparked this "yearning" is a TV travel show up in the Canadian mountains, wherein skiers are flown up by helicopter and ski down the "virgin snow fields". Looks easy enought and fun. Hell no... they call it heli (or was it hell) skiing.

I know it ain't so.. past winter trip to the snow proves otherwise. I tried putting on those blasted snow skis and balancing on the way down (I ended on the tobogan trail with the other kids...). It does not work (at least for me!).. . while this five year old kid beside me makes it so easy! Damn you snow skis... I will have my revenge one of these days. And I will go hell or heli skiing...

Thursday, 28 August 2008

The One

“In the midst of our modern lives, we loose ourselves. We have become everyone else sons, daughters, mothers fathers....but yet we stand in the middle of silence deafened by the question, “What is my purpose?"

Our souls urge us to take the next step to the unknown and yet we plant our feet firmly rooted to what we believe is.

Each morning, when first awoken from a dream we take a deep breath with disappointment that we are back to the same life we left the night before.

Our soul continues to nudge us to be able to breath and to connect with that is One.”

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Hitting the Pavement: My Daily Commute

Commuting to and from work five days a week; and with Sydney traffic pretty bad, I have to resort to radio to make the daily commute bearable.

I listen to 2DayFM for more than a decade now. 2DayFm airs in Sydney and some other Oz cities (that’s 104.1 on the FM dial; or if you’re not in Sydney, you can listen via podcast or stream link here.)

The morning show has the same format as far as I can recall: nice/sweet lady co-host and the arrogant/funny/stupid male co-host, much like the “good cop and bad cop”. It started with Wendy, a comedienne and Aggro, a funny and sometimes “aggravated” sock puppet. Then Aggro was replaced by funny man Peter Moon. More than a couple of years ago, they were “retired” and replaced with a “younger set”; Jackie-O and Kyle, “The Homeless Boy”.

A somewhat new addition to the usual duo is a third person in the form of Geoff “The Gay Newsreader” and the retinue of call-takers and staff. Geoff is the “fall guy”, the brunt of practical jokes and weird “experiments” especially by Kyle. Not because he is gay, but because it is in his contract and he is getting paid to be the “rat in the lab”. See the videos of what he has to put up with. Who says radio work is fun…

A couple of weeks ago my car radio broke down and I needed to replace the stock in built radio. I managed to find a not so expensive replacement in the odd bins at JB Hifi. It’s a JVC that can play back MP3, WMA, DivX and normal DVD’s and Cd’s; with an IPod input to boot. Just minor wiring and additional fascia to install, and am getting my radio fix again. It does make a lot of difference on a long commute to have a radio, am planning to install a monitor for that really long drive.

How about you, what piece of item you can’t live without on your daily commute?

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Looking for Czarina Africano

What is it with people looking and wanting to reconnect with their past?

Some I think find long lost youth by reconnecting with their old crushes and girlfriends (or for some, boyfriends or partners). Some middle age people love to go to their high school reunions to touch base with old friends and acquaintances; people which somehow reminds them of the “good old days”; the age of innocence - carefree and without any hint of responsibility.

I guess there is nothing wrong with that. In dotted age, the need to look back and reminisce the joyful days of youth is a human need, at times fuelled by romantic notions; at times, just fuelled by curiosity and the need for some sort of closure (as some psychiatrists would suggest!).

The subject came up and was triggered by various things. There was this new Aussie TV show (Find My Family - another reality show!) that reunites long lost family. Then there was this pbase site that a friend forwarded to me; and saw an album dedicated to a school reunion. Of course there was this old memory of mine that reminded me of an old school crush way back in elementary school. Her name is Czarina.

She was a special person, a really special person. Back then, she has this speech impediment; hence she has to go to the speech therapist in the school counsellor’s office. Every time she passes by us guys doing our gardening, I can’t help but admire her tenacity. Although she does not look tough, she has this regal bearing; head always held up with her bobby bangs… thin and morena; as compared to her close friend’s Marilou’s mestiza complexion.

I am just wondering what happened to her, and the countless year five classmates of mine; Edgar, Abelardo, Henry, Marilou. Unfortunately, we have to move to another city and I have to transfer to another school and that was that.

Maria's Journey to Machu Pichu

Photo courtesy of Maria. "Journey to Machu Pichu"

"Life was never meant to be a struggle;

just a gentle progression from one point to another,

much like walking through a valley on a sunny day."

- Stuart Wilde, From his book "Affirmations"

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

My Craving for Bibingka

Bibingka, for those who don’t know; is a Philippine rice cake traditionally baked in a special way or special oven wherein the hot coals are on top of the tray covering.
This is a regional dish and is very close to a Goan dessert called bebinca. I would not be surprised if they share the same origin; considering that Goa use to be a Portuguese colony and the Philippines, a Spanish one.

Anyway, I had this craving for some and I saw this ready mix bibingka mix in the pantry. Yes I was cheating, I was craving remember!

Mix, mix and off to the oven for 10 minutes, topped off with cheddar cheese and another five minutes under the grill. Presto, it looks, smells and taste like the real thing!

Ok, I am lying. It was a bit dry, I forgot to sprinkle some brown sugar on top and because I don’t like grated coconut on top, I forego with it. It doesn’t taste the same as you would get from the local specialty shops. But it did somehow satisfy my cravings. Next time I will see if I can do better, or better yet find a local bakery or shop that sells the damn thing.

July Early Morning Fog

I’ve been driving through this stretch of road every morning. Passing by this park and always has this urge to stop and take photos. Just that I am always running late for work.

But this particular morning, 17 July; with the fog unusually thick and with the right light; I drove in the park and started shooting pictures. This is one of many shots I took.

The winter weather is a bit unusually cold lately. There were certain parts of western Sydney that experienced “snow”; which the weather bureau says is more hail than snow. But nevertheless the kids enjoyed making snowmen and snow ball fights.

Well, you’d think why is this guy talking about the weather? Has he nothing to say or have run out of topic to talk about? You know when people or your date makes small talk, especially about the weather; one finds it so boring (I guess that is why I need to post a picture with this article!).

But actually, if you think about it (really, really think about it – think harder!); the weather is so important to us all.

For example it dictates the fashion or what clothes we wear, unless you are from the UK and thinks that Australian winter is YOUR summer!

Then there is the drought that Australia is experiencing, at one stage our dams registered less than 50% of capacity. Water restrictions were in place, no watering of lawns and gardens; and washing the cars (which is always a good excuse to run to the nearest car wash).

The weather also dictates our activities, especially during the weekend. Obviously it is too cold to go out and swim in our beaches. Or even have a barbeque in the park or play golf in the early morning (I don’t care how a golf addict you are, it is still very cold!).

So in a sense, the weather plays a very important part on our daily lives, hence this post and the picture to go with it!