February 2006

Happy socks

February 1, 2006 - Categories: sad

I woke up terribly lonely today, so I wore happy socks. That gave me
an idea for another Toastmaster speech to be entitled “Secret
Happiness.” =)

My happiest secret is a star. Not a lot of people know where it is and
what it means to me, but it’s one of my secret happinesses.

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Metadata course

February 1, 2006 - Categories: school

It’s a good thing I read about Dublin Core, FOAF, and other wonderful
Web-based stuff before! =) I’m not _too_ out of place in our metadata
course, and can actually participate in the discussion. Rachel and I
usually have our hands up when the teacher asks questions (rhetorical
or not), although other people occasionally contribute.

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Toastmasters

February 1, 2006 - Categories: geek, toastmasters

Good to be back in Toastmasters. For the table topics game, I asked
people to tell me what they liked the most about Toronto. Everyone had
fun talking about Toronto, and I added a few new items to my list of
things to do or see while I’m here. It turned out that one of the
guests was also new to the city. Great timing!

I’ve volunteered to do my eighth speech next week. I’ll be talking
about Secret Happiness. The eight speech project is about using visual
aids effectively, and I’m sure my wonderful socks will be an excellent
visual aid. ;) Secret Happiness!

We had an executive meeting, too. Must get the hang of organizing my
notes for the minutes. Will write up the minutes tomorrow and send it
to exec.

Oh! I did the secret geek handshake today. One of the guests mentioned
conferences – “cons”, in geek lingo. Gaming conferences, in
particular. First half of the geek handshake. I responded by telling
him that in terms of computer gaming, I’m weird – I’m into Nethack. If
you could’ve seen him just light up… Secret geek handshake indeed!

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Thank God I’m a Filipino!

February 1, 2006 - Categories: filipino, philippines

From Maoi Arroyo: Thank God I’m a Filipino!

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Gave a talk at Toronto Interacts

February 2, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I was part of a panel on transitioning to AJAX (Asynchronous
Javascript and XML) hosted by the Toronto Interacts society for
usability professionals. I had to modify a lot of my talk on the fly,
as most of the audience had heard about the basics and weren’t really
interested in code. I spent more time talking about the usability
challenges and opportunities of something as small as autocompletion,
which was probably a good decision.

I forgot the recorder, though. Waah.

One of the attendees invited me to a nearby gathering of game
developers. I was surprised to find that it was a social event hosted
by the International Game Developers Association. I know about IGDA
because Ranulf’s the chair of the Manila chapter. It was a lively

Downside, though: I fell down the stairs while leaving the
restaurant… Nothing broken, but I can feel the bruises forming.
Worse: I broke the camera! Waaaah!

I feel terrible about that. In fact, the whole day’s been kinda iffy.
I really hate waking up to overcast skies and grey concrete walls…

Well, at least that speech is finished. It was nice meeting people, though.

MIE1407F results

February 2, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

… although my day isn’t all _that_ bad. I just got my results back from MIE1407: Engineering Psychology and Human Performance:

85%. Waaah.

By some weird calculation, though, 85% ends up as an A.

Whee!

Grey, grey, grey

February 3, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I _really_ have to do something about my walls.

Paint a brilliant sunrise on my window, too.

Do you think Graduate House would mind?

Sigh.

Banking arghs

February 4, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I went all the way up to Yonge and Eglinton only to discover that I’d
left the form I needed. SIGH. I guess I’ll finish that next week.

I opened a USD bank account with Scotiabank. Am not very happy. It’s a
very limited account! Mumble.

I guess I’ll have to go for the TD secured Visa card. I need a
US-based Visa if I’m going to get Skype Out.

Cold and raining outside, warm and fuzzy inside

February 5, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The weather today was absolutely horrible. As my sister would say, “It
rained little animals.” Well, alternately rained and snowed. I didn’t
get to watch the fireworks I’d been looking forward to all week. Waah.

Even that couldn’t spoil my day, though. I had an absolutely fantastic
start – a nice chat with people back home. =D

After straightening out some things around the dorm, I hiked over to
Mike’s place. Michael and Alice McGuffin adopted me last year,
and they’re ultra ultra ultra nice. I kept Michael company while he
worked on his job applications, and he helped me stay focused on the
assignment I was working on. I must say that I really, really enjoyed
working like that: munching chocolate almonds, occasionally talking
about something… It helps me concentrate and stops me from nodding
off – also an important consideration.

Mike walked me back in pouring rain (casualty: 1 umbrella). I lent him
my umbrella for the way back. We cancelled the Winter City outing
because of the horrible weather, but I ran into James Iveniuk, who
very nicely adopted me for the evening. He has to teach me how to
cook, sometime… That guy has flair. He’s nice, too.

And of course there’s all the wonderful virtual hot chocolate I’ve
been getting from friends back home. They’re totally awesome… =)

I guess that’s how I can find my sunshine in the dreariest of winter
days: people. So I should help spread that sunshine… =)

Why I like the Emacs editor

February 5, 2006 - Categories: emacs

Most editors treat everyone the same. Emacs, on the other hand, becomes
uniquely yours – tamed, like the fox in The Little Prince. Let me paraphrase:

“No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does
that mean—’customize’?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said Emacs. “It means to
establish ties.”

“‘To establish ties’?”

“Just that,” said Emacs. “To me, you are still nothing more than a
user who is just like a hundred thousand other users. And I have no
need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am
nothing more than a editor like a hundred thousand other editors. But
if you customize me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be
unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the
world…”

And that is why I like Emacs. It may not be the perfect editor, but
it’s _mine._ =)

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CookOrDie: Meatball mishaps

February 6, 2006 - Categories: cooking, cookordie

Today I discovered what meatballs taste like if I use too much bread
to extend the ground beef. I’m definitely going to do mostly-meat
meatballs next time. Also, cheddar isn’t the best cheese for Kathy’s
recipe for Secret Happiness. I should use a soft, melty cheese like
mozzarella.

You live, you learn. =) The meatballs were edible, though, and
properly cooked all the way through. They were just not as crunchy or
juicy as I remembered. I cooked some spaghetti, threw six meatballs
into the bowl, and tossed the spaghetti with tomato sauce. I then
microwaved everything for a minute to get the sauce nice and hot. It
was an acceptable dinner. And yes, Mom, I took my vitamins. =)

I scrimped on the ground beef because I also wanted to cook ground
beef with garlic and onions for the pita pocket lunch I intend to have
tomorrow. Let’s see how that turns out.

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Traditions

February 6, 2006 - Categories: philippines

I wore a kimona and patadyong today. (Sorry, no pictures!) It’s one of
the traditional costumes of the Philippines. Hardly anyone wears it
these days, but I think it’s too pretty to be relegated to formal
occasions.

I wanted a balintawak, too, but I couldn’t find any inexpensive ones.
I guess it’s the kind of thing that needs a seamstress. =) Maybe I’ll
have one made when I go back. Or maybe I’ll have several. White?
Black? Red? Printed? While I have no imeldific aspirations, I
would like to be able to wear native things more often. It’s a way of
connecting back to home…

I’ve also figured out how to wear a malong as a skirt. Along the way,
I had an aha! moment. I finally understood the pleating instructions
for the sari my mom bought me a long time ago, as I found myself
pleating the malong and tucking it in the same way.

I still have no idea what else I can do with the malong. Sleeping bag?
Check. Blanket? Check. Shawl? Check. But I know it can be worn as a
decent-looking dress. I just have no idea how to do it without looking
like I’m walking around wearing a blanket. Would anyone have
step-by-step instructions for, say, the malong-malong dance?

I love dressing up in costume. It’s a way for me to connect to home… =)

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Tomorrow is my mother’s 60th birthday

February 7, 2006 - Categories: family

WARNING
By Jenny Joseph

>

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

>

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

My mother is one of the youngest people I know. She is the warmest
memory of my youth, and her hugs still touch me half a world away. My
father makes me laugh, but my mother dries my tears; my father rescues
me from trouble, but my mother guides me away from it; my father takes
me on adventures, but my mother takes me into dreams.

If I am to grow old, let me grow old like my mother. The wrinkles on
her face are the laugh-lines of a life well-lived. I want to grow old
like her, in the company of friends and the warmth of love.

But if I am to grow old like my mother, I will never grow old, only
more alive.

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Toastmasters

February 7, 2006 - Categories: toastmasters

I gave speech #8 at our Toastmasters
meeting earlier. I talked about secret happiness: colored socks for
sunshine, dangling earrings for the laughter of seas, and a star for
love. =) Everyone loved the speech!

I’m doing “Evaluate to Motivate” next week. I have plenty of stories
to tell them about my family and my friends! =)

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Tragedies

February 8, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Dominique hits it right on the head with his two posts about the
Wowoweee tragedy.

How can I turn my back on my country and live a comfortable life? I
must find my place in life. I need to figure out what I can do…

CookOrDie: Minestrone

February 9, 2006 - Categories: cooking, cookordie, friends

Level up!

Steve helped me prepare minestrone today, and I’m reasonably happy
with it. =) See, I picked up the Good Food Box I ordered two weeks
ago, and it had _way_ more stuff than I expected. It’s a good deal.
Almost too good a deal, considering my limited fridge space and the
fact that I’m still not used to eating celery, lettuce, and broccoli
in large quantities. And I still had carrots and onions from a
previous shopping trip!

So we prepared minestrone, using up some of the potatoes and onions
and carrots. =) I have around six portions in my freezer.

I think I’ll stick with the Good Food Box. The box comes every two
weeks and I’m supposed to figure out how to make it stretch that long.
I think I’ll split the next box with Steve or whoever else wants to
halve it. That way, I get the convenience of fresh fruits and
vegetables and the challenge of new stuff.

I still have to turn the rest of the vegetables into cream of * soup.
Cream of celery, cream of broccoli, cream of mushroom (again,
previously bought), cream of…

=)

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Tsokolate eh!

February 13, 2006 - Categories: cooking

(Heh, whoops, forgot to post this.)

It must be a sign. Look! A recipe for tsokolate eh, that sinfully rich
hot chocolate I really, really love – and it was posted on my
_birthday_ last year! Check out
Dessert Comes First: Tsokolate Eh! and the rest of that blog.

So I bought a pair of espresso cups from Ikea yesterday… =) Now, must stock up on evaporated milk. Whee!

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I could’ve danced all night…

February 13, 2006 - Categories: Uncategorized

… and in fact, I just did. Aside from a dinner break and a couple of
dances that I skipped to snack on things or get water or chat with
people, I must’ve danced for _eight_ _hours_ – from 6:30 until Matthew
(the restaurant maitre’d, I guess) finally managed to get us to stop
at 2:30.

Yes, my feet are killing me. I should seriously look into more support
for my dancing shoes. They’re marginally better than dancing barefoot
(which I did at some point, to the regret of my toes), but I may need
more cushioning.

Cushioning can only go so far, though. After all, I did dance for
eight! hours!

Yes, there goes my exercise quota for the week. Hah. As if I’m going
to be able to stay away from tango practica tomorrow, and the walk to
Toastmasters on Tuesday… I should just figure out how to remove the
athletic center from my fees. Or I should set aside time to go there
and oh, use the exercise bikes…

ANYWAY.

Dancing was _tons_ of fun. I danced with a number of people, including
a tango singer who performed at this show I saw last year. Dancing
with a salsa teacher was particularly fun, as he kept introducing
salsa tricks. Dips! Lifts! Vertical spins! (GWAAH!) It worked out very
well, and Victor Hugo (the tango teacher and the DJ for this session)
laughed and suggested that we practice for a show. A show!

As long as I don’t neglect my studies and other things… =)

If I wake up late tomorrow, you know why.

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Valentine’s

February 15, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Yesterday was fantastic! I woke up extra early and chatted with
Dominique, who Googled up a few wonderful poems and read me a few.
Then my mom called me up with news that some of my friends were over
there for a small party! =) Whee!

I did well in my two speeches today, despite mishaps. I survived my
metadata presentation despite having to go with Plan B (blackboard)
when the USB disk wasn’t recognized by the faculty computer, and I had
fun doing the Evaluate to Motivate talk despite leaving the prepared
overheads in the department.

In the evening, I declared a Chocolate Night. Steve, Rob, David, Mike
(Math), James, and Calum were there to play Scrabble and munch on nice
chocolate.

Happy. =)

Darn you, SELinux!

February 15, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I’m very annoyed with SELinux today. I’ve just figured out that the reason I was getting very mysterious access denied errors was that I hadn’t done the magical incantation:

chcon -R -t httpd_user_content_t the_dir_to_show_in_apache

which allows the use of those directories in the HTTP context.

Hey, it’s my first brush with SELinux… Anyway, I’m glad I got that
sorted out, although it took me slightly over half an hour to figure
that out and get Twiki up and running. Mrph.

Next step: Kerberos authentication.

Scrabble game results

February 15, 2006 - Categories: Uncategorized
Name (running total) Name (running total) Name (running total) Name (running total)
Rob Steve James Calum
10 9 16 7
13 (23) 24 (33) 20 (36) 13 (20)
34 (57) 13 (46) 28 (64) 29 (15)
30 (87) 24 (70) 18 (82) 15 (44) – then Calum had to leave, so I replaced him
11 (98) 20 (90) 18 (100) 11 (55)
18 (116) 21 (111) 8 (108) 92 (147)
9 (125) 20 (131) 10 (118) 4 (151) – I finished first

By official Scrabble tournament rules, this would’ve been

-7 (118) -8 (123) -1 (117) +16 (167)

but Rob, Steve and James decided to play on (ah, well, house rules -
but that messes up end-game strategy! mrph).

David was appropriately impressed by the 92-point move. So was I.
Steve was annoyed with James for leaving me with that opportunity. I wasn’t. =)

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Research-happy!

February 15, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I went up to IBM today. I can’t tell you the details as I’ve signed my
life away, BUT suffice to say that I felt very happy after the
conference call, as the person we were talking to listed all the stuff
I’m interested in. As a fledgling researcher, I find it totally
awesome when I have the same ideas that other people do. =) That tells
me I’m on the right track. This kind of synchronicity is just perfect
for a master’s student. I can save the ground-breaking, mind-boggling
stuff for my PhD.

Happy girl!

Information architecture summit: heavy on tagging!

February 16, 2006 - Categories: research

I can’t wait for the proceedings to
the Information Architecture Summit to be available online! =)
Whee! More scholarly papers to cite!

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Blogbridge – nifty!

February 16, 2006 - Categories: blogging

Hooray for Blogbridge! I was beginning to wonder why I hadn’t heard of something that flexibly let you slice and dice feeds to make them just the way you want. It’s a Java application, so it’s not as useful as a Web-based thing would be for me, but it will do. Good idea. =)

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No Eclipse for me…

February 16, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The Lifebook doesn’t want to run Eclipse. <sigh> Oh well.

Back to Emacs and life without autocompletion and quick fixes…

Lazy web

February 17, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Ideas are a dime a dozen, and that’s just the way I like it!

It means that a few months after I daydream about some kind of social
networking site focused on software applications people use, I stumble across something that actually does it. Freakishly, I already had a login. I probably created an account, forgot about it, and made it part of my subconscious.

But how _wonderful_ it is that other people think like I do!

That’s why I don’t mind giving my ideas away. I’m pretty sure that
lots of people out there have thought of the same things. What’s
different about me is how I _do_ things: the enthusiasm and passion
and care I can bring to something. And that – well, I’m working on
giving _that_ away, too, infecting as many people as I can… =)

In the meantime, I can enjoy the benefits of the lazy Web. Hooray!

Social researchers

February 17, 2006 - Categories: social

One of the most wonderful things about social bookmarking research is,
well, how very social it is. We congregate around our systems like the
way people used to gather around water coolers. I love the way that
the first impression I get from a page is not of link counts or tags,
but of people with varied interests, and I want to improve support for
collaboration in order to bring people out even more.

Another remarkable thing about social bookmarking is that people into
it _love_ sharing information. They share bookmarks, bibliographies -
heck, even blogs. I can browse around a social bookmarking site and
get a sense not only of what I need to know about the system itself
but also the other hobbies and interests of the early adopters.

It’s an amazing field to get into, and very very exciting.

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New tools for discovering people

February 17, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

When the people in your physical network are as new to a technology as
you are, how do you find out more? Blogs and social bookmarking, of
course! Totally awesome. Tons of fun. Life would be _much_ better with
a good search engine, of course, but exploring people’s bookmarks
isn’t an entirely bad way to do things either. I found a couple of
clusters of people who aren’t formally linked to each other but who
collaborate, and I also found really awesome early adopters… Whee!

Long but fun day

February 19, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I was annoyed to find Scotiabank is closed on Saturdays, as I hadn’t
thought to withdraw USD during the week and (fool that I was) I had
deposited all of my US dollars for safekeeping. That should teach me
to keep a stash. Oh well. I plan to convert a small amount using the
airport foreign exchange counters, then find a Citibank branch on
Tuesday for the rest. Hooray for Citibank!

I was also annoyed to find out that Payless Shoesource and the Shoe
Company didn’t stock tango shoes, so I’ll just have to stick with my
black ones. I still haven’t found nice gel inserts for things like
that. That’s okay. I survived one evening of dancing; I should be able
to do it again.

My hands still sting. I may have actually burnt them slightly, as a
section is slightly reddish and sensitive. I put lotion on, but it
hurts. Waah.

That said, today was absolutely wonderful. I bought a digital camera
(heads up, Mom and Dad! =) ). It’s 4.1 megapixels, which is a step
down from my old camera, but it has all the usual frills _and_ a
special mode for winter. I looked at the thinner cameras too, but they
didn’t have manual mode. After all the trouble Papa went to in order
to teach me how to do panning shots, I felt almost obliged to get a
proper camera. Well, at least as proper as point-and-shoots can be. Of
course, I asked Calum’s help in picking a camera, so we went to the
largest camera store in Toronto (possibly Canada). The guy behind the
counter was very helpful. =)

We hung out a bit after that, checking out Walmarts for happy socks
and LEGO clearance prices. I’m thinking of giving Tita Gay happy
socks. She probably can’t wear them to work, so I didn’t give her
happy tights, but at least she can wear them on her days off and when
she’s relaxing but her feet are cold.

Oh, and I’ve decided to grow parsley in the pot of soil that Michael’s
going to give me. =) I’ll set that up after I get back.

I ended up helping Calum with his LEGO robot, too. He’s not too fond
of programming (understatement), but then again, I’m completely
clueless when it comes to hardware (not understatement). NQC (Not
Quite C) is a _really_ braindead language. Many arithmetic operations
are restricted to _constants_, imagine that! Nonetheless, I managed to
get some kind of thing running. It was both concrete (look! I can make
things move!) and very abstract (I can’t believe I’m back to debugging
by _beeping!_), and it was tons of fun.

So that’s all good.

I’ve finished packing, and I announce with some relief that a week’s
worth of clothes fits into my standard book bag. I won’t need to check
anything in, and I can take the bus/subway to get to the airport for
my noontime flight.

Tomorrow: Toastmasters training and tango! Whee!

I need to make sure things are as smooth as possible, because I won’t have that much time on Monday morning. I may need to
nap in the afternoon. Too bad, really, that Toastmasters is this
weekend…

Ah, well. life! =)

Boston Science Museum

February 22, 2006 - Categories: Uncategorized

I cannot resist science museums. I am endlessly amused by models and
hands-on experiments. As a reward for good behavior or just for fun,
my father and I would take the motorcycle to a dusty building that
contained much-loved exhibits: an echoing shell that stretched between
floors, a wooden catenary arch, a rotating platform for demonstrating
the gyroscopic properties of a bicycle wheel… I had fun
rediscovering everything, running my fingers over the impossible
figure of the Penrose triangle and boggling again at how visual
illusions tricked me into seeing things even though I knew what’s
going on.

The Boston Science Museum is, of course, far more advanced than the
underfunded science center of my youth. This one had augmented reality
displays, lightning shows, and liquid nitrogen demos. The Star Wars
exhibit was fascinating, drawing plenty of connections between the
fantasies of the screen and the realities of current technology.
Scattered throughout the exhibit were hands-on engineering challenges:
build a magnetic levitation train from LEGO(tm), plan a Tatooine base,
experiment with robots’ facial expressions… It was fun to see adults
eyeing the interactive areas, probably also wishing that the kids
would hurry up and put the pieces back already!

It was a lot of fun, and I wish that I had more energy today. I had to
miss the MIT museum and a few other museums because of cramps, but
that’s okay. Maybe I can take the second circus. =)

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‘tinerant Tuesday

February 22, 2006 - Categories: emacs

I firmly believe that the best way to get to know a city is to wander
around. With that in mind, I strolled around downtown Boston, picking
up a pocket-sized fold-out map and various brochures from the Visitor
Information Center and a bottle of Noodler’s Ink from a wonderful
little pen shop on Bromfield. I also took the opportunity to pass by
the Free Software Foundation. RMS was out, but I met John Sullivan and
gave him a hug for working on Planner. (I’d forgotten to bake
gluten-free cookies for him. Oops.) I also walked around the park,
wandered over to the public library, and bought a pattern and some
cloth from Walmart.

Boston is pretty, with plenty of trees and beautiful brick buildings
lining narrow, winding roads. It is thus all too easy to get lost in,
not because the streets are difficult to locate on a map (they’re
clearly labelled) but because wandering around without any particular
aim is so pleasant. =)

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Had a blast!

February 23, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

I went up to IBM Cambridge today, and it was absolutely fantastic. I’m
not sure if I can talk about what made it fantastic, but I can
probably talk about how excited I was to be there. I was soooo excited
to be there! ;)

I’m really, really glad I worked on open source. Open source taught me
the value of documentation and the awesome power of community. As a
result, I have a very healthy respect for documentation, support, and
direct user contact. =)

I look forward to being useful to the team, and I’m sure we’ll get
interesting research questions out of it – and make our sponsor happy
too, of course!

I _love_ how life works out!

Happy birthday to Clair!

February 26, 2006 - Categories: barkada

I owe my exciting research opportunities to many people, not the least of whom is a librarian friend of mine who introduced me to the wonders of social bookmarking. I’d _seen_ del.icio.us and other services before, but Clair Ching was the one who really showed me their potential and use.

Ay, Clair. I’d seen her around our high school before, but I hadn’t
really known her other than as a friend of a friend. Blogs brought us
together. Protesting the Digital Pinay IT role model search whose
application form included bust measurements, I found that I wasn’t
alone. Clair not only coordinated with other outspoken Filipinas, but
also went to press conferences, gathered all the articles and blog
posts related to the controversy, and posted strong opinions on her
blog. The contest’s sponsors backed out, and the contest was
cancelled. Hooray!

Since then, she’s gone from Linux newbie to PLUG board member, from
shy librarian to happy problogger. Geek _and_ girl to the core (just
ask her about happy socks or dangling earrings!), Clair’s just
_amazing._

And she’s a fantastic, fantastic friend. She’s seen me cry. She’s seen
me laugh. She’s seen me flail madly in the kitchen trying to figure
out what to do. And she ate the results anyway! Wow.

So here’s to Clair:

(animate-string "Happy Birthday, Clair!" 1)

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Three hours delay and that’s okay

February 26, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

The US Airways commuter flight to Toronto is over three hours delayed.
That’s okay, because you can just _hear_ the smile in the announcer’s
voice. You know he’s having fun!

Heard on the P.A. system:

“If you’re going to Detroit or Toronto, please don’t come down yet, or
we’ll send you to a destination of our own choosing.”

“Once again, the plane for Toronto will be delayed until 3:52. 3:52.
You have time for a snack or coffee. Use it wisely.”

“Good news for Columbia, Columbia, the plane is nearly here. In fact,
I can almost see it out the window.”

“Once again, the flight to Toronto has been delayed to 4:45, 4:50. Now
is a good time to have lunch or dinner. If you want to leave the area,
just be back by 4. I’ll keep you posted.”

“And remember, if you’re bringing knapsacks, garment bags, strollers,
they’re not going to fit. The bins are small. Pick up a yellow tag.
They’re complimentary. They’re recyclable. Try them, you’ll like them.
They’re on the counter.”

“Last call for Rowley(?). Rowley’s about a 7-hour drive tonight. Don’t
miss your flight!”

I asked a flight attendant where I could get a customer feedback form
so that I could write something about this guy. She laughed and said
that Wally over at 35A has a Polish name, but “Wally” should be fine.
Apparently, he’s like that, day in and day out. The flight attendant
said that the jokes get a bit old if you work there, but hey, every
announcement of his was greeted with smiles and chuckles by the rest
of us infrequent travellers. =)

Totally awesome. I might just write a handwritten note to the customer
service address once I get back to Canada. =) Here’s to little things
done with great love!

Snuggling up

February 27, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Check out Accordion Guy’s post about snuggling up. It’s soooo cuuuuuute! =)

Hooray for Ateneo!

February 27, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

Didith Rodrigo has plenty of great news:

I wish I were there to help out!

Insulated

February 27, 2006 - Categories: -Uncategorized

For all the chaos and turmoil rocking the Philippines—from natural
disasters like the landslide that buried a village to man-made
disasters like our government—I still love my country, and I still
wish I were there instead of insulated by distance and time.

Debian’s still alive!

February 27, 2006 - Categories: Uncategorized

What do you know… Debian’s still accepting applications after all! =)

I just got e-mail from the Debian Account Manager, months and months
after I finished all the Debian Developer requirements. I’m not
knocking Debian. It’s a volunteer thing, and I know what it’s like to
run out of time/brainspace… Anyway, I’ve since then passed my main
package to a new maintainer (and a very very good one, at that!), and
I haven’t really been working on my second package (remember-el). I
promise to release another version of remember-el by the end of this
week, and perhaps I’ll look into packaging some of the other Emacs
Lisp things that I use.

I’ve gotten this far. Might as well finish it. =)

E-Mail from Joerg Jaspert

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Good Food Box: Pear Poofery

February 28, 2006 - Categories: cooking, cookordie

Here’s what in the Good Food Box for this fortnight:

2 lbs purple sweet potatoes
2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes
1 broccoli
2 lbs carrots
1 pack mushrooms
1 lb beets
1 head romaine lettuce
1.5 lbs apples
1 bunch bananas
4 oranges
1.5 lbs pears

Help! Must figure out how to cook beets, pears… Waaah!

I think I’m going to make pear pie.

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Sweet potato and chicken vinaigrette salad

February 28, 2006 - Categories: cooking, cookordie

Level up!

  1. Put potato cubes in microwaveable container with a little bit of water.
  2. Cover and microwave the potato for 3 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Brown the chicken cubes in the pan.
  5. Make vinaigrette by mixing balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  6. Tear the lettuce into bits.
  7. Drain the potato cubes and add them to the lettuce.
  8. Add the chicken cubes to the lettuce.
  9. Drizzle dressing. Delicious!

I know, I know, I said I’d never buy a whole chicken again, but
Dominion had a two-for-one chicken sale! I froze one and stuffed the
other with apples and onions before roasting it. That’s why I had
plenty of cooked chicken on hand. I needed to find interesting ways to
use the fruits and vegetables from the
Good Food Box. In particular, I had a head of quickly-wilting romaine lettuce,
and I wanted to use the sweet potatoes (kamote! yay!).

I Googled up a recipe for chicken sweet potato salad and threw everything together quickly. It was a nice meal, and I liked the way the sweet potato contrasted with the balsamic vinegar. =)

Happy girl. Level up!

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Finished my tenth speech!

February 28, 2006 - Categories: toastmasters

I’m now eligible for the Competent Toastmaster (CTM) award! Hooray,
hooray! My tenth speech was named “Cook or Die”, and I talked about
how cooking means happiness, comfort and love. =) It was good practice
for the upcoming club competition.

The club gave me a CTM pin and a very interesting book entitled “48
Laws of Power”. They also signed a card… Awww! =)

Happy, happy, joy, joy!

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