Like Writers and Photographers

“…I remember coming home a few days after EDSA 1 and playing it on the piano without interruption, and completing this five minute song in an unbelievable two minutes. How was that possible, if the song takes five minutes to sing…” – Jim Paredes

Athletes call it the playing the zone. It is the level where most play their best games and the performance continues as soon as they get into it and ends until they tire themselves out. Similarly, this applies to everything we do, day in and day out. There are times when we spontaneously do something without even having to think about it, when everything just seems fluid. Even doing a simple household chore has its own zone.

This must be why all of a sudden there’s that void of well-composed photos on my multiply.com network. Just a few months back there was a barrage of spectacular pictures coming from my online buddies but lately it seems no one has posted much or not one has shot anything worthy to be considered photography. Hopefully, their pricey Canon SLRs aren’t sitting in a corner, collecting molds and dusts.

This is also true with bloggers and reviewers. I miss the days when I’d read write ups so nice that I’d wonder if the man behind the harmony of words are pro incognito or just plain individuals like me who don’t have the bucks to purchase expensive cameras and therefore decided to write instead. While creativity is involved, this is what sets the two hobbies or pastimes apart. Photography enthusiasts need at least a high-end SLR while all bloggers need is just an intangible idea.

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed some of my previous (more than a year ago) posts and some made me smile and pat myself on the back, while some not so much. My only consolation is that my blog traffic isn’t so high thereby reaching only a few unlucky individuals. Having no proofreader or editor is my ultimate alibi.

But I still remember the times when I’d write better (as far as I’m concerned),  when I’d feel like I’m immersed in the zone. These are when a favorite music either plays in the background or just inside my head. I think the rhythm does something with the composition especially if it goes with the emotions behind the idea that is set at that very moment. My keyboard becomes the piano sans  the melody.

Even the people I admire and envy for having been gifted enough to possess such wonderful talents in both literature and photography, such as Jim Paredes and James Deakin don’t come free from blunders. I’ve read and seen some of their works and I can’t help but think “Hey, this isn’t them” or “Did they really do this?” But then, these are busy guys and the pressure of the deadlines sometimes affects the outcome.

With Christmas season getting nearer each day, work activities piling up, vacations to consider, parties to attend to are all joining our already chaotic schedule, I still hope that people could still find time to focus and be in the zone. Let those great articles come  back again and let those lenses capture the beauty of everyday life.

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Circus Now Showing on TV

“A nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“Ang hindi marunong tumingin sa pinanggalingan hindi makararating sa paroroonan.” – JR

I was coming from our last graveyard shift this week and upon waking up from a 4-hour deep slumber courtesy of the rain and cold weather, I switched on the TV and was surprised by what I saw. I must still be dreaming. Did the cable channel provider changed programming?  Am I on the History channel? Did my remote control conk out?

While trying to make senses of what’s on the tube, the Live caption on the side of the screen made me realize that what I’m watching is indeed happening real time. Standing in front of the camera is Sen. Trillanes flanked by some personnel, a priest who became famous for running, and a lady thanking the media for their perseverance to stay despite the tear gas bombardment–she doesn’t have to say that, these guys will stay like leeches even if a bomb is about to explode.

This scene greeted me from my wonderful siesta like a post-sleep nightmare. Here we go again. Fill in the blanks: EDSA (type number here).

Besides being pissed by what is actually happening hundreds of kilometers from where I am, I recalled of a then angry Jim Paredes’ post Equal Right to Lawlessness on his blog site wherein I placed the commented: “Jim, so what’s next? Edsa 4?”

 Just like Neo who suspects that a déjà vu occurs when someone is tweaking the Matrix, me thinks that someone out there is calmly running his fingers through the rim of a rum glass, massaging his bearded chin just as this event progresses and most likely while doing a revision of his master plan–conspiracy theories entertain me.

I hate to say this but it looks like we are a bunch of people with 64kb memory–we forget too soon.

***

I’m tired of seeing on TV a cliche of events that would humble even the plot of the telenovelas:

  1. People get angry at the President
  2. TRAPOs gather
  3. People + TRAPOs oust the President
  4. TRAPOs hug and attend mass with bishops.
  5. New President
  6. (Repeat # 1 if necessary)

Only in the Philippines.”

Why?

This is because I am now concluding that behind this Trillanes character is a bigger group (or individuals) so eager to topple the current regime so that they can serve the Filipino people. After all, I believe that this senator (sadly, yes) is a coward and should have never been voted in the first place. But again, we tend to forget.

If we rewind what this ex-soldier and coup-plotter has done, we will see that he’s cowered in hotels to make his point–or the lack of it–known to everyone. (I think it is about time that all hotels run a memorandum to close its doors once they see this man coming in.) So far I could not recall that he’s made a good impression for Philippine hotel economy.

Of course to prove that Trillanes is mainly out there to stir the Edsa spirit, tagging along with him are a number of characters to summon the majority–the so called masses–of the short-minded Filipinos and a bunch of media newscasters willing once again to insult if not to challenge the intellect of the resilient pinoys. Interestingly, Jim Paredes has a blog about it also: 23 tools to brainwash and influence people through mass media:

 

  1. Repetition is key. Repeat important messages as often as possible.

  2. Repetition is key.

  3. Repetition is key.

  4. Bypass rationality by any means People don’t need logic to accept information. Belief is emotional. Always remember: WAR=PEACE.

  5. Remember –- two half-truths make up a whole truth….

So yes, repetition is the key. We all know that tiny drops of water will eventually make an impression on a hard stone. Unfortunately, this is being used for the wrong objective.

So while I’m a few hours away from my birthday, I might as well grab the opportunity to entertain myself with the circus on TV. Who knows, the next time I click on the boob tube a new clown is already out there to serve our beloved nation. Mabuhay!

 

 

The Chain Game

 

I’ve always talked about the benefits we’ve been getting with the continuous improvement of how we communicate with one another through the Internet and computers. Everything from the basics to the complex things we do years ago has evolved though along with it comes its own pros and cons. The split-second rate of how we get in contact with each other has greatly affected the exchange of information and reactions. To the gullible this is a life changing moment.

Let’s talk  about seemingly innocent emails that ask you to forward it to others. Like an unending terrorist threat, this one affects everyone. No one is free from it. It is how you deal with it that makes the difference. I really don’t why these emails exist. Maybe these were circulated in good faith, to inspire, to motivate or to spread good news. Or could it be plain prank? So have you got one recently? Did you forward or did you delete?

Until now I still get those on my inbox and most of it were neither from susiexxx@horny.com nor from pass2survive@faithinme.net but from my friends. And it always surprises me every time when one who has been sending me pornographic pictures (not that I entertain these types) would later send me an email requesting me to pass on to every contacts I have a slide show with the Immaculate Concepcion’s picture on it just because some celebrity died after ignoring it. Ti abi. I believe in change and conversion, but this does not count.

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One of those that got through my inbox.

The reasons behind such instantaneous forwarding requests–pass this to 5 people in 30 seconds and you’ll see your life change–in my opinion may be the following:

Very shallow faith. Ever wondered if someone from the heavens did actually track if you send the religious email to everyone.

Lack of simple logic. Who in his right mind from Microsoft or Intel will give you $10000 cash or the latest computer just by forwarding an email.

Getting even. “Damn, I got scared with that. Might as well send it to others”.

10 GPBS office internet connection. Kung sabagay, why not. Can relate?

I’m not a quick deleter and I normally read emails especially if it does come from the people I know. I’m not even saying that all chain letters are bad. Most of it actually makes sense. So what I always do is to read the mail and if I think it is good enough, I “share” it to my friends but without the part that I know might get someone anxious or scared thinking that he’s just been asked by someone from the high heavens to pass it to others or get ran over by a truck on his next trip to work; OR that perhaps a CEO from Nokia is shaking his head for a recipient’s stupidity of passing off a good deal by ignoring the request to forward the enticing free N90 email to friends. Well, that’s not me.

Wait. I just got an email from Paris Hilton. Hey, that’s indecent proposal but it just needs me to forward to 3 friends in 10 seconds.

“Dear Mo, Mojo and Andi, please forward this to picture and you’ll get the time of your life…..”

 

Blog’s 1st Year

 

I can’t believe that a year has passed since I started writing and blogging. It was Aug 30, 2006 when I first got myself out of the couch, turned the TV off and approached my then lowly but dependable PC and started composing my Rockstar post. The result was actually surprising. I wrote one that actually made me pat myself on the back even with the uncertainty that grammatical errors could exist and await for one keen grammar Nazi’s eye or any smart elementary kid to take notice.

But there’s always something for encouragement to just do it. As if by coincidence our Daily Quote calendar has this for Aug 30: “A life spent making mistakes is not only honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing – George Bernard Shaw”. So timely, so appropriate. One more reason to make mistakes, or in this case, write blogs. I smiled and nodded when I read it. This calendar was given to me by my wife.

My wife. Two words that I’ve been including in most of my blogs either consciously or unconsciously . Well it’s no wonder, she’s the one who inspired and encouraged me to try writing. As far as I know, she is the leader of my few readers who visit my blogspot every now and then. My Technorati rank will attest to that – Rank: 3,915,745 . Ti abi.

My Blog Machine 2.0

”Every new beginning comes from other beginning’s end…” Closing Time by Semisonic.

Finally, my old Blog Machine has to go. The five-year old Pentium III 800 MHz PC has to give up his throne in our bedroom and give way to what I will call my Blog Machine 2.0 powered with one of the latest Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz PC.

The old machine has been a part of our life since it was given to us for free. During its early days it has opened our eyes to the wonderful world of the Internet. It has helped us appreciate the then famous (or infamous) Napster. Despite enduring the dragging speed of dial-up connection, I endured nights of downloading of what I knew before as just free music (it’s now technically known as piracy). I still can recall one person begging me to keep my connection open just to download Midge Ure’s Dear God—which happens to be one of my favorite songs (hint: 80‘s fan).

Of course, the old Intel machine also introduced me to one of the wonders of Web 2.0—web blogging or just blog. As a frustrated writer, I finally found one medium to share my thoughts and practice my writing skills, if I may call it. It was through this old machine that I drafted and published my first blog.

As everything will come to an end, the old guy is laid to rest. Some of its parts were taken out (i.e., cannibalized) for the new guy. Some were given away, to maybe meet other old PCs that hopefully will start other people to learn the basics and be awed by the World Wide Web. If there’s a PC heaven, I know his soul will be there.

For the new guy, he still has got a lot to prove. It’s been with us for just two days but so far the promises of an Intel Dual Core processor haven’t failed and continue to amaze me with its power. I’ve already made it to download applications from the internet, rip music and capture videos from our Sony HandyCam—all of which were done simultaneously. The result was just great. No glitch. Yet. If only writing skills improve together with the upgrade of a PC.

Oh, before I forget. I’m now playing a new game in this PC. It’s the modern, action-packed and adrenaline-pumping graphics—-the unforgiving game of…Spider Solitaire. LOL. I’m growing old. Ti abi.

My Blog Machine and I are Ill

Just lately, the blog machine is showing signs of illness. Just when I thought it would be doing its job effectively, it all of a sudden displayed a “throbbing” monitor. It would intermittently dim as if breathing heavily to keep up with what I am doing. It looks like I am just now waiting for it to die on me while writing a blog post. Whenever it will be, I can’t tell.

The monitor will have to go soon & a replacement is needed. CRT or LCD? I’m thinking now if by any chance my blog machine wants to sympathize with my recent headache attacks. Well, I wonder. If there is such thing as resistentialism, which is a belief that a thing is acting against one person, this one I don’t know how it is called.

A few weeks back (it’s been years actually) I had these strange headaches which would come out of nowhere. Being a paranoid myself, I have checked the Internet and the symptoms are that of stroke and migraine. I’ll gladly accept anytime that it’s the latter. Hopefully, the next few days, I’ll have the answer.

My Blog Machine is Up!

Other than not having time to compose my blogs, my Blog Machine bogged down due to a defective UPS. This is my HP VL400 Desktop which runs on Intel Pentium III 800 MHz, 128MB SDRAM 133Mhz bus speed. More than 5 years ago, this could have put me on the bragging rights level if you compare it with other computers of its time. Sadly, technology is cruel. This week you are fast, the next couple of weeks you are slower than slow. In this world of F1-like “Giga” CPUs, mine is that one car that would have retired sooner even before the other cars have settled in their pole positions prior to the race start. But fear not! The Blog machine is at least still good for word processing, which is all I need to do my blog posts. It is also still good for the adrenalin-pumping, heart-stopping, mind-boggling game of Solitaire! At least I’ve got something to do while waiting for the next blog page to load through my56 kbps internet connection—actually, it has never or rarely reached that much speed. ti abi.