Jinxed

This post is long overdue. I should have written this last Sunday but because 1) I was too busy with work, 2) the electricity was often out, 3) the internet went out starting at dusk, and 4) when the power and the internet came back, I was busy again with work.

On being jinxed…

Bobby and I have this long-standing joke – or call it observation – that every time I have a deadline for my online job, something comes up unexpectedly to hinder my progress and to make my submissions late. Call it findng a scapegoat but I prefer to think that I’m jinxed.

With my first freelance job

  • Back when I was still with my former freelance boss, I was using a very unreliable internet connection – we’ll call it SB prepaid, it is actually a Smart product which was supposed to give me fast internet because of it being the largest mobile phone provider in the country. Sad to say that my expections were all proven too high because everytime I have a project, the connection goes down. I couldn’t even check my mails! And to think that I am using Gmail 😦
  • The power failures would also creep into the last hour – as in when I am still writing my last article. Because my deadlines had been daily, at 8 PM, it came to a point where I was constantly late in sending out projects.
  • To add to the dramatic effect, my illness – mitral valve prolapse – would decide to make itself known by making me palpitate 😦 maybe it was just the stress of it all but, in the end, I had to quit that job because of a particular incident where I couldn’t meet the deadlines because I was constantly lying down – it was around the time when Bobby’s grandmother passed away.

With my current freelance job

  • I still blame the power failures that the electric company brings every week. I have too many rants about the brownouts – mostly happening when I have a deadline! 😦
  • My internet connection is much more reliable these days. I’m hooked up with SkyLineAccess with a grid antenna. While it was new to us, though, the crazy brownouts would come – causing the antenna’s microchip to breakdown, leaving me with no internet access for days. The Engineer was confused as to why, for the very first time in their long business career, an antenna keeps breaking down. The last time the antenna went on a major breakdown, it died. Well, I had to shell out some Php7,000 just to have a new microchip installed. 😦
  • Over the course of time, I have developed new illnesses. According to a good friend, Dieter, when the creator was calling for people who were interested in diseases, I must have been calling out me! me! 😀 This time, I had to return some projects because I was hospitalized or had to go to the hospital for an emergency case 😦
  • The last major event happened last weekend with the storm, Jolina. I call it really personal – I mean, what’s with Joy, Jolina, and jinxed? 😀 Anyway, we had a major rush project but the weather and the electric company decided to play with us (Lurchie, Maree, and, perhaps, my other colleagues). The power would turn off for several minutes or hours, turn on for some time, then off again, then on again, and off again, until it was too difficult to keep track of how many times the ons-offs happened. It was going really crazy to the point that I just sat near the PC, turned it on when the power went back and worked as fast as I could. When the power goes off, I chat with Maree and Lurchie but sometimes had to just text. When the power comes back, we work back…on and on the cycle went until it became too infuriating that we were grumbling with some *#*#*##* signs and crazy, frustrating messages. My internet connection actually held on through the entire 2 days of crazy brown-outs that Lurchie said were early Christmas lights. 🙂 However, during the last power off, it died, too  – leaving me with a project to pass but no internet connection. Bobby and I had to go to Scooby’s to send the articles – which I had a hard time transfering to the flash drive because the PC acted crazy and wouldn’t recognize the USB (sigh). I had to burn the files in a blank CD – glad I found one.

So, there it is – everything that makes me conclude that I might really be jinxed. Still, Maree said that I have to think positive. Alright, I will try to…but for the meantime, let me blame the electric company, the weather, and my being jinxed 😀

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Sick and Jobless…for a week, anyway

My pelvic inflammation is back 😦 I’ve been sick since Sunday {sigh}. Because the pain forces me to be stationary most of the time, I was not able to go to work since yesterday, Monday. The pain was sometimes tolerable and sometimes not. It is difficult to describe how it feels but you can imagine some 100 needles pricking your left abdomen – something like that 😦

I was supposed to go to the doctor yesterday but I have no driver because Bobby was at work – no motorcycle, too, as he brought ours. Our other motorcycle was used by my father-in-law and because my mother-in-law has fever, he couldn’t bring me to the doctor, too. By nightfall the pain was really excruciating that I was having difficulty walking.

It was even more painful when I woke up. Bobby and I went to the doctor this morning. As usual, we had to wait for around an hour or more as the doctor was still doing rounds then went to the OR.

I was prescribed with my old Dalacin-C medication once again plus some medications for the pain 😦 I was also given the rest of the week off to rest and will have to go back to the doctor this Friday for further check-up and ultrasound. Well, at least now that I’ve got medication the pain is almost gone.

So, for the rest of the week, I’m jobless. Anyone care to give me a job? 😀 Oh, I’m supposed to be resting 😀

Farming after the Rain

Electric Rain…well, sort of…

The rainy days came with a vengeance – really dark overcast clouds poured large drops of rain, the type that makes one say, “it’s raining cats and dogs”! The most perplexing thing about these rains is that they come after you think they wouldn’t come at all – meaning the sun was shining really really brightly but a minute after the dark clouds rule.

When the rains come, especially heavy ones, the electricity almost always goes out in time with first drop. The electric company is that predictable during rainy days. And, yes, they are very unpredictable on sunny days because even without a breeze of any sort the power would just go out. Well, the unfortunate thing is that when I have deadlines (for my online job), the jokers at the power company play with me – cutting power off for hours! I promised myself that I’d save hard for a generator 😀

Farming in the Rain…

The rain had made the soil ready for farming – but since I hate earthworms (which will surely come out from the wet soil), I decided to “farm” in my computer instead. 😀 Here’s my progress for the afternoon.

No sprinklers yet :(

No sprinklers yet 😦

Power Off, Power On

It’s Sunday. As usual, the electric company had decided to make their presence known – by cutting off the electricity and making the people grumble about the injustice of having their family day – at home – bungled by the heat.

Power Off

Just when I awoke – at 8 AM – the power went off. One good thing that came with it is that the neighborhood got silent. Still, there is nothing much to do at home when the power is out. Well, we played with the dogs but the heat was still unbearable. Since Bobby just received some morado banana seedlings (? or something) we decided to plant them at the lot then go swimming….Hmmm nice idea.

So, we went to the lot with Twingkay in tow. She is big now – 4.25 kg! That is why it was difficult to wrestle with her to settle down as we rode to Bacong. She loves to look over Bobby’s shoulder but would cower when a car or big truck would blast its horns on us. She also loves to shift around the seat to look over, to see the sights on the right, and the (silent) vehicles on the left.

She “helped” plant the bananas.

Bobby and Twingkay...Planting

Bobby and Twingkay...Planting

Then we went to the beach to cool off. Coof off we did because Twingkay was shivering by the time we decided to go home 😀 We wrapped her in a towel and she was so behaved as we rode the motorcycle that one could think we were bringing a different dog 😀

Twingkay, Big Girl

Twingkay, Big Girl

Power On

With nothing much to do, sleeping is the next best option to going to town – which, I am very sure, would be full of people trying to cool off at the generator-powered department stores. Thankfully by 4+ the power went back! Now this is what you call cool – the fans are turning once again 😀

The “power on” allowed me to play “Ranch Rush” and “Farm Frenzy” 🙂 I feel so “in” with these farm things as we had just planted some bananas 😀

The Rainy Days are Coming

It is July now. It hasn’t rained much since I could remember. Just when I thought the rainy days won’t come, they came with a vengeance – two typhoons, one coming right after the other exited {sigh}. I am a summer person – that means that I’d rather have lots and lots of sunny days than any rainy day.

In the Old Days…

Well, not really in the very old days but back when I was young – in the 1990s, that is – the weather was predictable. The rainy days will start at the last weeks of May and would stretch until around December. Then the next couple of months will be sunny. That is the reason why I love the first few months of the year more than the second half. Also, when it starts to rain, it was a signal that school days are back and we’d be trudging with our wet uniforms and broken umbrellas to school. 😀 In those days, I played with earthworms. Ewwww! I hate ’em now 😀

When the weather was almost predictable, we know when to travel – we don’t do it on June and we try to avoid traveling in the typhoon months of the last quarter of the year. My cousins and I would plan a summer trip to somewhere nice.

These Days…

Nowadays, predicting the weather has become a difficult task for laypeople. No longer can we say that June will bring the rains – no, it took July to scare the rains in coming. And why am I complaining, anyway? I love summer! Well, I just wanted the regularity that the rains brought when I was younger. Still, I love summer – the less rain, the better. 🙂

The Song…

The Carpenters penned my broken chords into song several years ago. Here it goes:

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old

Sometimes I’d like to quit

Nothing ever seems to fit

Hangin’ around

Nothing to do but frown

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

 

What I’ve got they used to call the blues

Nothin’ is really wrong

Feelin’ like I don’t belong

Walkin’ around

Some kind of lonely clown

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

 

Funny but it seems I always wind up here with you

Nice to know somebody loves me

Funny but it seems that it’s the only thing to do

Run and find the one who loves me.

 

What I feel has come and gone before

No need to talk it out

We know what it’s all about

Hangin’ around

Nothing to do but frown

Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down.

Conquering Dumaguete

I had quit my job in the cement factory last August of 2007 – that means that I had already been working for almost 2 years in Dumaguete. Hold on! August is almost here…the people at work are really going to be happy 😀 Meanwhile, Bobby had been working in Bayawan since December 2005 – that’s about 3 years and 5 months of being in Bayawan.

Where is this leading? Well, Bobby will be assigned in Dumaguete starting tomorrow – yay! We are not really going to “conquer” Dumaguete but we are surely going to love being here…as if we were away for long, huh?

I had been trying to apply for a job at NFA – the salary is almost the same with the one I am receiving now but with 5 days of work and other government-related work conditions.

However,

1) I have no wish to work as chemist as of this moment,

2) the hiring is urgent and I am not free of my obligations at work until August,

3) the job encompasses slots for Dumaguete, Siquijor, Cebu, and Bohol – ooops, I quit my Cebu job to be in Dumaguete, I am not going to quit my current job only to be assigned somewhere else, thank you!,

4) I’m really thinking of just staying at home – doing freelance work and being a full time house manager aka housewife,

5) We are going to be house-building starting September and someone has to be there and work on the papers,

6) I’m concerned about the trend of the illnesses that I am having these days,

7) Success is relative, remember? and

8) I want to have more time for myself, Bobby, and vacation 😀

Therefore, Bobby and I decided that I will not pursue the NFA angle – which, incidentally, requires that I take the examination and interview at Cebu this Tuesday. No, when I quit, I wouldn’t care if a new job is waiting for me or not – this is for me and my hubby, this is to allow us to have a lot of time for each other and for our upcoming house project.

Where does this lead, again? Time will tell, really 🙂 but I surely am going to start waking up later than when I usually do these days 😀 And the house project pictures are going to come out soon. Whether I quit or not, Bobby and I are still going to “conquer” Dumaguete. Be there!

Need 100M pesos? Be a Hacker

Do you need 100M pesos? Well, if Sen. Alan Cayetano’s proposal will be backed by the other lawmakers then, let’s all try our hands at being a hacker. Why? Read the following article from Christina Mendez of the Philippine Star: Hackers wanted; P100-million reward .

Excerpts from the article include:

Opposition Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is proposing that about P100 million out of the P11-billion poll automation fund be used as a reward to people who can hack the machines to be used in next year’s automated elections.

Well, Senator, you have just opened the country to vulnerable attacks {sigh}. Just imagine the world’s hackers reading the article, doing the math, and realizing how big they could make out of this! Don’t you think that it is too premature to claim that the system is hack-proof when the company to make the program/system is not even known yet? Besides, the almighty Pentagon and the FBI had been victims of hackers before…so, the country can dare to make silly statements as this? And a reward that many of the country’s citizens would die for just to get their hands on? Had I any IT brain in me, I’d seriously think of hacking the system!

“For the country, we cannot afford another six years or longer of instability because of questions on the elections. So we thought of a direct assurance for our people that automation would be credible,” Cayetano said.

“We thought of way to address this… (and use the P100 million) as a reward to computer experts, technology experts and even to hackers to show if the system has any vulnerability,” Cayetano explained.

The money will be taken out of the P11-billion appropriation recently approved by Congress for automation.

Cayetano said the Comelec would also be asked to outline the rules and regulations covering the reward, with P10 million as the minimum reward for every successful attempt to hack into the poll automation system.

In pushing for this, Cayetano cited a statement made by Comelec Executive Director Jose Tolentino, who was quoted by the media to have declared that “by the time a hacker gets into our system, the election is over.”

No, the country may not afford another 6 years of political instability but we can’t also afford to waste money. And yes, for a country that could not afford to waste money, we’ll be too stupid to dole out that 100M for a hacker to do the job. Have you ever been on a security briefing on hacking and the internet, Senator?

“The most effective way to test if indeed a system is credible, reliable and tamper-proof or fraud-proof is to offer a sizable prize to whoever can hack and convincingly show the weaknesses of the system,” Cayetano’s resolution read.

Yes, the intention is noble and right, of course. However, the reward is too much, too big, and too tantalizing not to be taken…

Hmmm…I have a proposal…Why don’t you pay someone to hack the sites of those who the country owes money from – to erase our debt and all. The 100M reward will be very useful and appropriate, then! Or perhaps, the intended reward be used to pay – for real – the teachers who serve during the elections and get paid several months after the elections are over!

Please, Senator, the money would be useful when used elsewhere. You can even choose to reward your hacker but the amount should definitely be not as big as 100M!