Friday, August 10


Today, my parents each turned one year older. Yep, it still mystifies me that these two people who met and allowed me and my siblings to enter this world each share the same day on which they themselves were born.

My Mom was a nurse in a well-to-do family in Manila, prior to which she worked in her brother's casino where they watched figures like Bingbong Crisologo at the height of his notoriety. As a nurse, she was as tough as she was caring, and one time got into a fight with a crabby patient which ended with them throwing flower vases at each other. She's obviously a woman of undeniable toughness, exacting standards yet boundless humor.
My Dad had a hard childhood, serving for a while as a messenger for the guerrillas during the war. He worked through medical school to become a doctor yet he never really wanted the job, wanting instead the simple life of a farmer... but in the end, he turned out to be a world-class bowling coach and instructor, then ball technician. Gentle and nonconfrontational, he's about as opposite from my Mom as can be.

But despite that, they came together and the rest is history.

Happy birthday, Mom and Dad! God willing, may you have more and more and more and more and more to come.

Wednesday, August 8

Rainy Days

Lately it's been rain, rain, rain. I'm not complaining. Given the Dry Spell that has been sapping our water supply, people have been literally praying for rain and storms to come- the just passed storm 'Chedeng' (which is incidentally my Mom's nickname)was the country's first this year, I think. From what I heard, there was even a pastoral letter from the church asking people to pray for precipitation.

Well, it's here. Maybe the Philippines has a bit of clout with someone up there. Let's just hope we don't have to start praying for the rains to stop...

Monday, August 6

Should iPod or Not?

For the past several weeks, I've been obsessing about getting myself an Apple iPod. In particular, I'm eyeing the latest Generation 5.5 80GB model, which is video-capable. As anyone who reads here regularly would know, I am so into mobile video. It's a hobby and pasttime of mine, as well as a way for me to kill time or combat boredom whenever it rears its ugly head. I actually passed on the first video-capable pods since I read that the battery life was lacking; it certainly would be useless to have The Lord of the Rings movie in your pocket when the device can't even play it to its entirety. Well, the latest generation pods now boast improved battery life (the 80GB model has been timed to have up to 7 hours of video playing time) as well as other tweaks like a brighter screen to make watching vids pleasurable.

Some would ask me, why would I need an iPod for watching videos when I already have my XDAIIi? Yes, my pocket pc phone playes excellent video via DIVX and the thoroughly amazing TCPMP app, and I do have a ton of space thanks to a 4GB card. But the thing is, my XDAIIi is, after all, first and foremost a PHONE. I must always take care to keep juice in the battery at all times and that impedes my total enjoyment of other features unless a power outlet and charger are within easy reach. A dedicated media player, which gives me hours and hours to appreciate both video and music, is paramount especially during times when I have to be on standby for extended periods of time.

Certainly other options have been considered. I have my AV700, which is technically a portable media player- but it is too large to bring along unless I have a bag, and thanks to an apparent battery defect, it can take only about an hour of video playing before the power dies unless plugged to an outlet. So, it's basically rooted to The Sanctum, serving primarily as a DV Recorder and occasional hard drive. I've considered other devices, such as the Creative Zen Vision M and the Microsoft Zune (which boasts a large, 3" screen), but the iPod outclasses them in style, ease of use, storage space and just plain cuteness.

If and when I get a pod, I do fully intend to use the 80 Gigs of space. I've already started grabbing music and podcasts for watching, and I've earmarked my favorite shows and series for bringing along. Avatar. Mythbusters. Futurama. The Simpsons. Ghost Hunters. Tons of Discovery Channel specials. About a gazillion anime series. There's no shortage of stuff I can stuff into a Pod. I'm not really thinking of having actual movies since the screen is just too small to appreciate wide-screen flicks. But hey- I'm a guy who was once happy and used to seeing vids on the dinky screen of a Nokia 6600. I'll make do with what I have and be happy as a clam.

Anyways, nothing is really set in stone yet... I've got about this whole week to finally decide and go through with this. Till then, I'll be reviewing my options and considering stuff before I finally become, technically, one of the Pod People.

My only fear though is that if I do get an iPod, what if Apple suddenly announces a new, widescreen (design based on the iPhone), true Video iPod? Nah...