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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Browser-based Games: Online Fun Without the Hassle
I have always been a fan of online games. Since I pretty much live and breathe the Internet, I have dabbled in quite a number of online games. To name a few, I tried Ragnarok Online (PH), RAN, Tantra, GunBound, Flyff, Pangya, etc.

Those games mentioned above had to be installed into the computer. I had tried most of these games when I logged in at a cafe downtown or at a friend's house. Sad to say, my computer could not stand most of these games because it is quite ancient.

Since I could not play these MMORPG at home, I had to find some other means of online fun. That meant browser-based games. Surprisingly, I found some of these games more fun than the ones where my eyes would get damaged more. Here are the following games I tried:

  • EARTH:2025 - A browser-based strategy game by Mehul Patel. Get a kick at ruling your own country. Choose your own type of government and watch your country grow. Make sure you don't get farmed or annihilated!! I played this game for a couple of years. I think I am one of the very few Filipinas who play it. I was even part of The Pinoy Alliance, where I held office as a Foreign Affairs Officer, and hubby was the VP.
  • Kingdom of Loathing - Pretty funny RPG with stick figures. Fight monsters, go on missions, and earn meat! Try to dress up your stick figures and imagine them using their wacky special attacks. The GiGC got me playing this years ago. I cannot exactly remember how long ago. Great language and situations.
  • Utopia - Another strategy game by Mehul Patel. I did not last long. Just a couple of months. But it was still good!
  • Travian - Strategy game by Travian Games. I am currently addicted to this. Pretty cool, if you ask me.

All of the games above are free, unlike the ones mentioned waaaay above. And they go in turns so you can actually leave it alone for a while and get back to it.

There are other games aside from the ones I mentioned above. You can see a listing of these games here.

So, what do you say? Wanna play?? ;)

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posted by Ann @ 5:57 PM   2 comments
Going Template/Design Crazy
Can you see the changes? Yes, I believe they are quite obvious.

I got crazy with changing my blog design this afternoon. I went from one design to anoter. I fell in love with a lot of them!! Sad to say though, the adrenaline rush of having a new look must have gotten to me because I simply could not make the templates I loved the most work right. Instead, I lost all my links to my friends' bloggies and I most importantly, my AdSense [!!].

Some parts of my brain have been seriously nagging and I am starting to feel deaf. I think I might have made a boo-boo in my haste to change. But I think it turned out quite okay. I still like this new design. And I think it happens to be lighter on the browser. I really wanted to go for a 3-column one. Sad to say, today was not my day to go 3some.

Anyway, if I added you previously to my blogroll, and by chance I failed to put you back on. My apologies. The list of links I had stored are quite Jurassic and unupdated, so I did what I could. I think there should be a lot more friends there, but I just cannot put my finger on the URLs. Please leave me a message if I missed! Sorry again.

So what do you think of this design now? I wish I could make one. But procrastination and plain laziness is getting the better of me, and I am shamefully letting it win. ;) No problemo, amigo!. I'll get it next time!!

Cheers to the new design!!

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posted by Ann @ 5:46 PM   3 comments
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Miley Cyrus' Pictures in Vanity Fair: Artistic or Pornographic?
Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus' spawn, is the next Disney role model to hit controversy frequently. Disney has had a lot of "role models" who are now going in circles and spiraling up and down. I could not blame Disney for this. Can you help it if they simply breed celebrities? It could be that these young celebrities are just trying to figure out what to do next...?

Anyway, here goes the new scoop. Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, has hit Vanity Fair pages wearing nothing but a white sheet. Artistic? Pornographic? You be the judge!

“I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed...” - Miley Cyrus

I, personally, watch Hannah Montana. I love it, I just seriously love it. And although I haven't seen any of her merchandise in Dumzville, I am pretty sure a lot of the kids all over the world look up to her. Could you blame me if I look up to her as well? No, not exactly look up to her, but I just like her show. The kid in me just could not resist. If Little Girl were any bigger, I am sure she would love her, too.

I do not know about you. But I don't think it is THAT pornographic. Although definitely not for children viewing. I think it is quite artistic actually. I haven't read the contents, too, so I if I were to simply judge it by the picture, I think it is okay. Just make sure kiddies do not see it. If you were a responsible parent, would you show it?

Miley Cyrus is her own person. And I honestly believe that she can decide for herself. As per quote, she thought it was an artistic idea, then okay. If she believes it to be a mistake, then she is human after all. :)

What do YOU think? Artistic? Pornographic?

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posted by Ann @ 4:14 PM   3 comments
A Reason for Practicing SAFE SEX: Neurosyphilis
Sure, we all know about HIV/AIDS and the "blah blah blah" reaction of everybody, not just from hyper-hormonally driven teenagers, where safe sex is involved. And sure, everybody has had that "talk" with an adult or concerned person on sexually transmitted diseases and the practice of safe sex. But do people listen? Do people learn? Well, truth is, some do. But there will be others who will shake it off believing that they will not be one of the percentage that will become a part of the growing statistic.

Over the years there has been an increase of infections of syphilis. What with the type of environment we now live in, I probably can count the number of non-sexually active people I know with my fingers and toes. Can you blame me? I was once one of those active ones. Yeahp! That explains the babies. But not much on the sickness part.

Now, it has come to the Rise of the STDs. Most people do not take syphilis as seriously as HIV/AIDS or others because it can be cured. But little do they know that sometimes "they come back." This time, they become somewhat mutated, uglier, deadlier. When I mean deadlier, I mean DEADLIER. It comes in the form of neurosyphilis.

What is neurosyphilis? Neurosyphilis is a complication AFTER having syphilis. Around 10-20 years after having the the first infection of syphilis. It is, without a doubt, considered to be life threatening. However, not everyone who has encountered syphilis develops this.

The following are some symptoms of neurosyphilis (taken from MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia):
  • - Headache
  • - Stiff neck
  • - Irritability
  • - Poor concentration
  • - Mental confusion
  • - Depression
  • - Incontinence
  • - Muscle atrophy

.: Or there may be no symptoms at all.

Penicillin is often used to treat neurosyphilis through various ways. For more information, please read MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Neurosyphilis.

Obviously, this cannot be taken lightly. We should all be informed of the many red flags that have come up with regard to safer sex and sexually transmitted disease. It never hurt anybody to know more.

BE SAFE!

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posted by Ann @ 12:51 PM   3 comments
30-Day Mark: Happy 1st Monthsary Dear Bloggie!
My count for the first 30 days of my darling blog is already here! I am feeling so happy, like the way my children reached their first month safely. God is good.

It feels like forever, this relationship between bloggie and me. It feels like it has been ages since I gave birth to this new collection of thoughts. Perhaps, it is also high time for me to somehow christen it and give it a name. I hereby dub thee, "Pepper." :D

I always liked the name "Pepper." But I never got to naming my first born that because I think my husband would have my head if I named our daughter after a seasoning. Now that an opportunity has come for me to give something very dear a name. What better name to call my bloggie, "Pepper."

So hello Pepper! Congratulations on staying afloat for the first toxic 30 days of your existence! I pray that you will continue to thrive and persevere, and provide me with enough moolah to feed the spawn. ;)

Thank you for coming, guests! Please sit, chat, eat, be merry... and click links (for my monthsary gift.. hehehe). Do keep visiting because it is bound to get more interesting in time.

Cheers! Long live, PEPPER!!!

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posted by Ann @ 12:14 PM   0 comments
Monday, April 28, 2008
Pros and Cons of Working at Home
Work at Home. This is a current trend happening all over the world. While most people still favor the old style of work wherein one has to report to the office daily, some people prefer to work on their own schedules, at their own pace, in the comforts of their own home. An situation that has lured me dangerously, but something I am still fearful of.

I have had past some scary experiences when working at home. And that was part-time, even! Still, I guess I could never get enough. I am still drawn to this appealing little situation which I do not know how to satisfy. So I have decided to weigh the pros and cons of working at home. I would not want to jump into the bandwagon prematurely without prior consideration. Yes?

Pros:
  • - Helps financially. Cuts on the expenses of having to spend for fare, and food would be centralized, so less expenses there, too.
  • - Good for parents. Moms, like myself, would not be so far from their children, and some housework would not go unnoticed.
  • - Own schedule. No longer trying to fit everything else into the fixed schedule of work. But this does not mean I would not have a fixed schedule. It just means you can be the master of your time. Not be a slave to it.
  • - Freedom for other things. Although it is still work, nobody will actually kill you for surfing or taking a break. And trips to the loo would not be so restrained. :D
  • - Health reasons. Home is where comfort is. Sometimes being in a office can make you more sickly whether you like it or not.
  • - More moneytizing opportunities. Working at home allows you to dabble in other part-time jobs and the like.

Cons:
  • - Unstable. Working at home is sometimes not too stable. As I've said, I have been burned one too many times online.
  • - Possible payment comes late. Sometimes payment comes late, or perhaps never. Yes, I've been there too.
  • - No social life. If you are used to working in front of a box, then this might not be much of a problem. But if you are like a lot of people who need the presence of others a lot, then this might not be the thing for you.
  • - Family life might not get accustomed to you working at home. In some situations, it is believed that the home is just for family time and not for working. So some family members might find it hard to adjust to the fact that you have to work instead of bonding with them.

So far, those are the pros and cons I could come up with. I am pretty sure there are other points that could be raised for or against working at home. If you have any ideas you would like to share regarding this, I would really love to hear it.

As far as I am concerned, I would like to try working at home because working in a cubicle with the air conditioner blasting on top of my head is not my idea of a wonderful time. And somehow, this life is not exactly working for me. Why? I don't get to see my family that much because by the time I get home, lets just say I'm already "half-past dead."

So, what will it be? Work at home? OR continue on the rat race?

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posted by Ann @ 11:58 AM   0 comments
Is Website Design for Blogs Important?
One of a woman's many charms is her indecisiveness. She can say she wants something, falls for it dead on the spot, and when she finally gets it, she realizes it is not exactly what she wants. Isn't that right, ladies? As what I said, it's part of our charm. ;)

Anyway, time as has come, after a couple of days of having my new look to the blog, to change it again. Why? Simple. I have changed my mind and decided that it is not exactly what I had in mind. I never had a thing for the overly large headers anyway. What I had in mind was something more subtle, and clean. Not that this is clean, I find the colors here rather relaxing. But something just doesn't feel right.

I've often wondered if website designs are a huge factor in drawing traffic and visitors. Being a web designer, I find myself constantly checking other websites for their designs. Making notes on some tackier layouts and styles, noting the gorgeous and functional ones. I would personally like something along the lines of clean, refreshing, and calming. Although definitely not frilly, fussy, or just too modern. But I haven't drafted one like that yet. I will soon.

Which leaves me with the debate of changing my design again, or not..? My lazy bone says I should leave it for a couple of days more. But the blogger/designer/me says I should change it right away. I feel that it is just too heavy.

What do you think? Is the design a huge factor in determining the readership and following of a blog? Or perhaps not, given that RSS has revolutionized the way people become your readers, quality is more important while design - not so much.

Either way, I'm going for both. :D

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posted by Ann @ 9:32 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 25, 2008
Deranged Palmist at Work: Have Palm, Will Read
Would you like to have your palm read?

It never hurts, really. Maybe you should try it. Learn things about yourself that perhaps you never knew. And know a little about the future perhaps?

Chiromancy or cheiromancy, (Greek cheir (χειρ), “hand”; manteia (μαντεία), “divination”), is the art of characterization and foretelling the future through the study of the palm, also known as palmistry, palm-reading, chirology or hand analysis. The practice is found all over the world, with numerous cultural variations. Those who practice chiromancy are generally called palmists, palm readers, hand readers, hand analysts, or chirologists.


My good friend, the Deranged Palmist (no, she is not really deranged), is dusting off her shawls and airing them out, reading for you. Currently, she is in Dumzville (aka, Dumaguete City, Philippines), so a one-on-one meet-up is most possible. However, she is still in the process of ethically determining if her services might be able to breach the World Wide Web through palm scanning. I shall update you on that later.

But if you are interested, please contact her at derangedpalmist [at] gmail [dot] com. Or if you need my glorious presence for introduction, help or company, leave a message and I will get back to you.

Cheers!

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posted by Ann @ 9:49 AM   0 comments
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Good Night for Great Mornings: How to Get a Good Night's Rest

Everybody needs that perfect night's sleep. For years, I had mastered the art of going asleep at 3:00-4:00 a.m., staying up all night just chatting, blogging, playing Ragnarok Online or EARTH2025. Sometimes I just downloaded and downloaded songs, or sometimes I just browsed sites all over the web. I woke up at around 5:30-7:00 to get ready for school, and when I got back, it was back to the PC.

These days, I admit I am not as crazy as that. Keeping myself awake until 2:00 a.m. consistently is enough to drive me nuts. For a while, I could handle it, but burn-out was just around the corner. I would most definitely find myself half-past dead at work (work starts at 6:00 a.m.). So I have been trying to get myself to go to sleep with 12 a.m. the latest.

Nevertheless, going to sleep may not exactly be the problem. My main problems are the tossing, turning, frequent urination, sleeptalking, teeth grinding, or what's worse: sleepwalking. I know. I need my sleep to fully rest.

So I've found a couple of things that are said to be tips on how to get a good night's sleep. Here are just a few that I have uncovered all over the Internet. There are a lot of them, but I'll leave them up to you.

  • Have a schedule. Varying times of going to sleep can disrupt your sleep quality. The body pretty much runs on routine, therefore erratic sleeping schedules can confuse your "biological clock."
  • Watch what you eat before bedtime. Your stomach should have something inside it, but it should not be full to the seams. One should not sleep until 3 hours after dinner has passed.
  • Keep your bedroom dark. Exposure to light when everything is supposed to be dark can also disrupt your internal cycles.
  • Have a good mattress. Turn your mattress upside down every couple of months. Replace it after 5-7 years as soon as you feel the springs and other innards.
  • Exercise. If your job involves a sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical exertion, this may result a poor quality of sleep.
  • Visit your doctor. If you are concerned that you might have some sort of sleeping disorder, it is always best to check with the professionals.

Other tips include:

  • Wearing appropriate clothing that reflects the weather.
  • If you can't fall asleep within an hour or less, get up and do something. Do not stay in bed. Staying in bed for long hours and not going to sleep makes one associate your bed not with sleep.
  • Try lavender. It is said to be very soothing and the scent may help calm you down and succumb to sleep.
  • Do not nap for 15-20 minutes a day. It drives your sleep cycle crazy making it harder to sleep at night.

Hopefully, and I honestly pray, that these things will help me. If you have other tips and tricks to help some nut case like me get some good ol' sleeping time, please do not hesitate to leave your ideas behind. ;)

Sweet Dreams!

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posted by Ann @ 6:26 PM   0 comments
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) declares 90% of fishes in the Philippines gone
Fishing is one of the Philippines' main source of livelihood. Fishes are, in fact, a staple food Filipinos have on their tables. Therefore, they should be kept in abundance. If there are no fishes, then there would be no fishermen, and if there are no fishes and fishermen, some people would no longer have anything to eat. Or some would become forced vegetarians.

Last night's report from ABS-CBN came as a shock as findings from the WWF reported that 90% of fishes from the Philippines are gone over the past 60 years. That being said, can the Philippines and its people survive with 10% for the coming years? I do not want to find out.

While it is common knowledge that there is a steady growth of pollution and illegal fishing, many people are not aware of this important fact. And what good time for this information to come out than today. Perhaps everybody would be willing to figure out what to do to help stop the constant decrease of fish population. The only hope? Fish sanctuaries and fish farms.

Still, not many people can create fish farms and not many people have the funds to put up fish sanctuaries. Most people would still continue to fish in illegal ways because times are hard and when times are hard, one must find a way to increase income, and for some people, that means one has to have more catch (of fish) to sell. Are there other ways to catch more other than by illegal means? I am sure there are a lot more, but fishermen need to be taught SERIOUSLY about these things.

There is a need to stop this speedy decline. And movement needs to start now. I do not know how I can help personally, but I will try to find a way. For now, spreading the word on this fact is the first step I know.



Please help save the schools of fish that are endangered. Please help save the ocean. Please help save the world.


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posted by Ann @ 8:00 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
SPURS vs SUNS Game 2: SPURS Win Again!
What was that they said? Spurs winning just ONE game at Home? Hah! Think again! The San Antonio SPURS won Game 2 of the Round 1: SPURS vs SUNS with 102-96. Sending the Phoenix SUNS packing with a 2 game loss for the series.

This time around, Tony Parker scored 32 points, while Manu Ginobili added 29 points. Tim Duncan put in 19 points for the game, kept their home court advantage in tact and play Game 3 in Arizona.

Despite Shaq's comments after their first game declaring that the "floppers prevailed" in the first game, this time around Shaq was more kinder in his praise saying that both Ginobili and Parker played "fabulous." (I [heart] Shaq)

As for Stoudamire, he was quoted saying, "One of these years we’re going to beat these guys. I hope it’s this year.”

The Suns will have to find a solution for Parker and Ginobili if they want to get back into the series. To which Grant Hill commented, "The whole league is trying to do that."
---

Well, I wish the Suns good luck. And an even bigger Good Luck to the Spurs. Awesome as they may be, they still have been know to have a few bad games in their pockets when away from home. My fingers are crossed, and I pray for their success.

GO, SPURS! GO!

Photo found from searching in Google Images.

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posted by Ann @ 9:27 PM   0 comments
Be Careful When You GOOGLE
Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, knows Google. Google is perhaps the most well-loved search engine in the world. And with the advent of those oh-so-many goodies like: AdSense, iGoogle, Google Reader, GCal, GMail and Google Pages, one cannot help but be one of the vistors that frequent the website by the second. Google has revolutionized the Internet, making it possible to have a paperless office. In the end, Google has become an everyday habit.

But as the title goes, I repeat, "Be careful when you Google." I gathered some valuable information a serious of mistyping "Google.com". Nobody is perfect, and everybody makes typos. Even when typing the famous search engine on your address bar. To be very specific, please watch carefully when you type "Google.com," because if you happen to type "Googkle.com" (PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!), you are unleashing a serious vicious problem into your computer. I do not know this by experience, and I am seriously not that dumb to try it. But hey, if you are the regular dare devil, then by all means, be my guest.

Unconvinced? Here is an excerpt of the findings of F-Secure about the said website:

F-Secure staff has found a malicious website that utilizes a spelling error when typing the name of the popular search engine - 'Google.com'. If a user opens a malicious website, his/her computer gets hijacked - a lot of different malware gets automatically downloaded and installed: trojan droppers, trojan downloaders, backdoors, a proxy trojan and a spying trojan. Also a few adware-related files are installed.

The name of the malicious website is 'Googkle.com'. PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THIS WEBSITE! Otherwise your computer will get infected! We have reported the case to the authorities.

I am trying to spread the word because I, for one, mistype Google.com all the time. And I know there are lots of people out there who do the same. So please, be very careful.

Sincerely,

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posted by Ann @ 7:25 AM   3 comments
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Million Blog List and Wiki Blog Directory
Do you want to drive more traffic to your blog? Give a boost to your Good PageRank, or perhaps for Technorati purposes? Then give this a try! :)

I cannot remember, from the deepest recesses of my grey matter as to where I came across these two wonderful websites.

I have added myself to: the Million Blog List ( am on #838 so there's a who lot more numbers to fill!!) and the WikiBlog Directory (list yourself under numerous categories). Why don't you add yourself there, too? Let the world know what a wonderful, interesting, innovative, exciting, crazy, delightful, rare, authentic, exhilarating, amusing, funny, creative, etc. website you have! Join me and the rest of the world in our quest to be heard!!

Power to the bloggers! Teehee.. ;)

*Updates later.

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posted by Ann @ 8:42 AM   4 comments
Monday, April 21, 2008
Spurs vs. Suns, Game 1: Most awaited anticipated game of 2008 NBA Playoffs
As we all know, the 2008 NBA Playoffs has just kicked off. With it came, in my humble opinion, the most awaited match-up between the San Antonio SPURS and the Phoenix SUNS.

A rematch born out of what many believe to be last year's REAL finals went off with a pretty wild start, and it met more than just the expectations.

I, personally, was really up and up and so excited to watch the game. This face-off has been the source of my dreams for some days now. It has made me feel worried, to nauseous, to anxious in a minute. Ack! Yes, dear friends, it is true, I am a SPURS fan. Obvious isn't it?

Last year's match between the SPURS and the SUNS had my blood pressure skyrocketing out of excitement. This time around, I think it just might as well give me a heart attack. I feel the tension between the two teams, and I am not even in the U.S.! This is crazy, but honestly true. And yesterday's game proved it. This is going to be one heck of a series. In fact, this is said to be the 1st round match up in the 2008 NBA Playoffs that is most anticipated. I could not blame them. It has been crazy.

Even though sports analysts and other experts have their bets on the SPURS, even they admit that it is going to be a long hard push to the top. The defending champions sure have their sights mired by the revenge-driven SUNS. Even for the first game alone, admittedly they have given the SPURS a very hard time.


At first, it seemed that Game 1 was not the thriller that everybody hoped it would be. The SUNS controlled the game for a good three quarters, leading at some time by 16 points despite Shaq's early foul trouble. Around the fourth quarter, the SUNS still had a 6-point lead.

The SPURS only got their first lead by the fourth quarter, but were still close to the SUNS by 93-90. With everything tight and tense, they reached overtime. Duncan made the Big Shot in the first overtime after finding himself alone at the 3-point line, with his team down by 104-101.

In the second overtime, O'Neal's dunk placed them both 112, with less than 2 minutes to play. In the end, Manu Ginobili drove right through the lane against Raja Bell, and, like he usually does, got to the hoop and scored.

The SPURS won in the double overtime with 117-115. Tim Duncan walked away with an amazing 40 points, Parker with 26, and Ginobili with 24.

GO, SPURS! GO!!

---
*On a personal note: I really do not like Shaquille O'Neal's comment after the game. Why don't you [Shaq] just say that "You can't make mistakes against a team like that [period]..." Nothing more, nothing less. Just let it go. You cannot force people to dance to the tune you play. A game's a game.

Cheers!!


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posted by Ann @ 11:33 AM   4 comments
Sunday, April 20, 2008
To Multitask, or NOT to Multitask, That is THE Question
Almost immediately after the Multitasking post I placed hours ago, I received feedback from one of my loyal lurkers. She asks, "If I don't multitask, how can I read what you write?..."

Well, I did find tools for minimizing multitasking and some tips which I think it would be a good thing if I shared it with those who are interested as well. But I am still compiling them as of the moment. I would not want to give a half-filled list of things I use or things I found. Besides, I would not be practicing what I preach, per se, if I did not try these things out first. Who knows? My Jurassic PC might die on me while I try them out, so at least it would happen to me before it happened to you! Right?

But anyway, I can give an answer to dear miss deranged palmist, and that would be to pencil me in your tight schedule. :) One thing a writer online I look up wrote regarding his schedule is that he spares a couple of minutes reading his subscriptions or browsing. After that, it would be a couple of hours before he squeezes it in again. Pretty nifty considering that he doesnt have to keep hitting "Alt-Tab" and trying to keep up with recent posts as soon as it hits the newstands.

Like checking emails. If you try practicing the checking once before starting work, and again during breaks, and then again at night, then productivity would be on your side. In this regard, one could also filter mail so that the important mails would be the ones visible right away. And you could just check the other folders later on.

There is so MUCH one could do to minimize multitasking and in turn be a very productive worker. It just needs a little patience and habit formation to do the trick.

I am on my way there, too. But I sure know the answer to the question on my title. Of course it is, NOT to multitask. I challenge you, too! :)

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posted by Ann @ 12:00 AM   0 comments
Saturday, April 19, 2008
RSS meets Boosts in Technorati and other stuff
I am not much into memes and tags. But sometimes, well, out of the nothingness that this world has become, I give in to the call of the wild and do my share of the memes being tagged and all.

So the current person who has victimized me would be Sendzki over at http://sendorero.blogspot.com.

"Note: You must subscribe to the feed of the blog who tagged you. To subscribe to my feed just click the icon above. "

I got tagged by Dana, this tagging thingy will likely increase your blog's feed subscriber.
If you are in my blogroll, please check out your link at the bottom" Feed Me Up!
You get these benefits in joining this linker chain:

* You can get more web traffic.
* You can increase your blogs' Technorati authority.
* You can increase your blogs' feed subscribers.
* You can get more back links.
* You can gain more friends around the world.

Here are the Rules:
Copy the list below. Place your Blog's FEED Link (i.e. You blog's link for its RSS/Atom feed, not the actual site) after the list. If you have more than 1 blog, feel free to add them all here!
After placing your blog’s feed address/es, you must tag 5 or more bloggers that is not yet in the list, this is to keep the ball rolling.Also, you must subscribe to the feed of the blog who tagged you. You may include subscribing to another blog of your choice from the list.

Your RSS link/Atom feed here

I am tagging... ehn², ZTe, miss feyoh, lainee, and anybody else reading this. Gracias!!

XOXO,

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posted by Ann @ 11:20 PM   3 comments
Stop Multitasking, Start Getting Things Done the Right Way
Multitasking: Good or Bad?

If there is one thing women are most noted for, I believe it would be the mastery of the art of multitasking. Multitasking somehow integrates itself into the lives of women making them super human beings in the process.

One great example of this comes from a story from a guy colleague of mine while we were on the topic of S.O.P. (s3x on phon3). He said that he saw something about a woman and a man doing S.O.P. After a closer look, it showed how the woman, while engaging in the said task, was also ironing clothes as well! A classic case of great woman multitasking.

Although admittedly, it is not just women who master multitasking. These days, everybody pretty much knows how to multitask. And they are pretty good, too! With the continuous development of technology and all the things in this world, there seems to be so many things that one can do in just a couple of minutes. For example, checking your emails while chatting, while browsing some social networking website, while doing research for something, while balancing a baby being on the lap while feeding him or her, and singing. What?? You don't think that's possible? Of course, I know this to be true. I am THAT person in question. And I think it is just wrong. That is why I am trying to change it.

Though it seems like a great way to get a lot of things done, at the end of the day, I feel like I have been dragged through every room of the house. That happens on most days. There are days, though, that I don't feel too tired. Perhaps my body has adjusted to the multitasking.

One thing at a time.

After all things considered, I realized that it is best to do just one thing at a time. That way, you can work your absolute best, and concentrate more on what is being done at hand. Scheduling the things that must be done is indeed a good idea. I am trying real hard to do this. Somehow, I find myself almost always short of time. And then these would be the moments where I wish I would be able to have 36 hours a day.

Doing things one at a time allows you to sort out your activities and plan them carefully. Something I need to do. It is most definitely going to be an uphill battle, but from the bottom of my heart, I think this is for the best. God knows, perhaps this is what I needed all alone.

Indeed, the great PoohBah knew a lot when he told me when I was a n00b that burn-out should be

Introducing GTD (Getting Things Done) by David Allen

Have you ever heard of GTD? I have. I've known about this for a year or so now, but I have never been able to put it into practice. I've read a lot about it, but procrastination is indeed a curse, and it has put my goal of learning this into the back seat. All the more that I need to learn it now.

So I renew my goal of learning GTD. I got the following from Wikipedia in hopes of sharing it with you, too. In case you're one dove-tailing person like moi. Read up about this more and let's see what happens. So anyway, here is the process of GTD, and a step towards organization (still under GTD).

Process

When processing a bucket, a strict workflow is followed:

* Start at the top.
* Deal with one item at a time.
* Never put anything back into 'in'.
* If an item requires action:

* Do it (if it takes less than two minutes), OR
* Delegate it, OR
* Defer it.

* If an item does not require action:

* File it for reference, OR
* Throw it away, OR
* Incubate it for possible action later.

If it takes under two minutes to do something, just do it immediately. The two-minute rule is a guideline, encompassing roughly the time it would take to defer the action formally.

Organize

Allen describes a suggested set of lists which can be used to keep track of items awaiting attention:

* Next actions — For every item requiring attention, decide what is the next action that can be physically taken on that item. For example, if the item is, "Write project report," the next action might be, "Email Fred for meeting minutes," or, "Call Mary to ask about report requirements." Though there may be many steps and actions required to complete the item, there will always be something that needs to be done first, and this step should be recorded in the next actions list. Preferably, these steps are organized by the context in which they can be done, such as "in the office," "by the phone," or "at the store."
* Projects — Every open loop in one's life or work which requires more than one physical action to achieve becomes a project. These projects are tracked and periodically reviewed to make sure that every project has a next action associated with it, and thus can be moved forward.
* Waiting for — When an action has been delegated to someone else, or when one is waiting for some external event before a project can be moved forward, this is tracked in the system and periodically checked to see if action is due, or a reminder needs to be sent.
* Someday/Maybe — Things to be done at some point, but not right now. Examples might be "learn Chinese," or, "take diving holiday."

So! Let's get this multitasking out of our system and embrace the Art of organizing and getting things done!!

Cheers!!!


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posted by Ann @ 12:28 PM   0 comments
Friday, April 18, 2008
Dances with BIRDS [Wolves]
Okay, I admit, I am a scaredy cat. May I share my latest adventure of chicken-hood? Very well then.

It all started this morning. I woke up really early, and I was fired up for the day. At 4:45 a.m., I must say I was more energized than I normally am at that time, but hey, things are going to happen today. So I planned to be at my very best and organized self. Good luck to me.

Just when I was twirling around in front of the mirror, I heard a clear chirping sound. I listened and then I heard the singing of birds outside. I smiled to myself [can I help it if the sound of birds brighten me up?] and went on with the poses. Until, something swooped at me. I let out a squeak [I could not scream since I might wake the whole house] and ran straight to the bedroom. I peered outside, and lo and behold, THERE WAS A BIRD INSIDE OUR HOUSE!

How she [i prefer to think it was a girl] got in, I have no idea. I crouched low and made my way towards one of our windows which would open all out and ran back into the bedroom as fast as I could. Suffice it to say, she never found the open window. She insisted on poking her head on the closed panes of the other windows, but she never thought to look the other way. Back and forth, to and fro, she flew around in a frantic state. And who was almost about to faint? None other than moi.

I really needed to complete my preparations so I shook my Knight in Shining Armor awake. To my dismay, he simply rolled to one side and said, "pasagda-i ra na.." ("leave it alone..") Now HOW could I leave it alone? How COULD I not mind it? Every second I felt like it was going to swoop at me again and I was sooooo scared I would get hit, or something. But I really had to get moving. So I kept talking to the bird... I kept shooing it and going in and out of the bedroom. Until finally, I gave up. I did manage to ignore her... well, make that pretend to ignore her.

The next thing I knew, she was GONE. :D My Knight was right after all! She must have finally spotted the open window and flew right out! Good thing, too, because if she hadn't gone out that minute, I would have been late for work again. Hehehe... Birds.

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posted by Ann @ 11:06 AM   0 comments
Prayer: Does it have to be fixed?
I am a Catholic. I grew up Catholic, and I believe I will always be a Catholic. But I also grew up in a Protestant school and that has somewhat created a conflict regarding my prayer methods.

My grandmother and mother taught me ways to pray, and at some point they have insisted that their way is better. But I have been taught - through school - that there are OTHER ways to pray. It is because of this that I have tried to find a common ground for my beliefs finding comfort in connecting with God in the way I choose. Still, my elders pressed that I follow their methods.

Lately, I have been having a hard time praying. I feel the need to pray, and I want to do it very badly. My mother instructed me to do certain prayers at a certain time, and my husband says something else, and my grandmother has prescribed some, too! It comes to a point that somehow these prayers are no longer my own, but something that I have been memorizing and been taught to say. How can these be the prayers from my heart if I do not feel it?

I believe God heard my dilemma and somehow I feel like I have been answered. Today, I noticed a subscription I had in my email from Bo Sanchez. And this is the entry in his blog: Is Praying Supposed to be Fun?

In his entry, Bo has answered my queries in so many ways. It is okay to pray the way I choose to do it. Isn't the communication with God the important thing rather than the numerous lines drilled into me since I don't know when? Like so many others, sometimes I sing, sometimes I write Him a letter, sometimes I just talk when I feel like He's beside me. So many ways... All of which I think are still prayers which He will hear.

Do we really have to follow fixed prayers? How do you pray?


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posted by Ann @ 8:25 AM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Horton Hears a Who!: Movie for the Kids of the New Generation

Yesterday, BB Boy and I watched "Horton Hears a Who!", with voice acting by the ever wacky Jim Carrey. Little Girl was supposed to watch it with us, but she was not feeling too good and decided to mope around downstairs. Meanwhile, BB Boy, ever as hyper, watched the lovable elephant with amazed eyes.

Funny really. I never thought I would see this story in a full length film. I always loved the shorts, and the books. But the film is a whole other ballgame. I am quite happy that they did not use people like they did when they made "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". The animation of this film is really, really, awesome! Props to those who made this! No wonder it became a blockbuster. I would imagine anybody who could capture the childhood delights of the adults as well as introduce this long-time character to the new generation would be able to churn out a huge success.

As part of my movie reviews, I would like to give "Horton Hears a Who!" four and a half out of five stars.

The movie moved me a lot. And it made me cry when the clover with the speck of dust was thrown into a sea of clovers. It really made my heart break. It also made me want to shout and participate when the Whos of Whoville were making noise. Surely, any movie that can make you want to choke the antagonist is surely a good movie for me. Still, there were some parts which I felt were a bit dragging. All in all, I love it. :D

This movie, makes me wish I was young again. Wherein in youth, you can believe anything is possible. It makes me think of the book "Sophie's World." For me, it presents much of the same concept. Who knows? Maybe we are just a speck to others??

I particularly love the quote:
"A person's a person, no matter how small."
While watching the movie, sometimes what I see reverts to what I used to see... the pages of my book. It can't get any better than that. :)

XOXO,

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posted by Ann @ 8:22 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Going GTD (Getting Things Done): My schedule
I am currently drafting a supposed schedule of mine that I want to adopt. I admit, I might not be as busy as I used to be, but that does not mean that I have nothing more to do.

My everyday schedule is really crazy, and I have things to do just out of the blue. If I had to put all activities in my Google calendar, it would pretty much be colorful. It sort of is crazy right now. But for the sake of getting my life in line and help me with all the things that I need to do, I thought of writing down my generic daily schedule in order to come up with a better one.

4:30-5:30 A.M. - Getting ready for work
6:00-10:25 A.M. - Work (sneak in breakfast somewhere)
10:25-11:25 A.M. - Break and extra surfing looking for topics
11:25-2:00 P.M. - Work
2:00-7:00 P.M. - Baby care and Motherhood (some Internet time can be sneaked in if I manage to wrestle hubby away from PC)
7:00-9:00 P.M. - Internet time (money making, blog posting, and among other things [hoping to extend time as per negotiation from hubby])
9:00-10:00 P.M. - Try to put baby boy to sleep, and not try to fall asleep in the process
10:00-... - Wifehood? ;)

I know...the schedule is WHACK! I need to fix it. There are so many things I want to pencil in during the course of my hectic days.. *sigh* I'll post what I want to do with it later.

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posted by Ann @ 8:38 PM   4 comments
Friendship Chain

Here's a little sumthin' from Mommy Reese.


~~Begin Copy~~

This is the easy way and the fastest way to :
1. Make your Authority Technorati explode.
2. Increase your Google Page Rank.
3. Get more traffic to your blog.
4. Makes more new friends.

Rules :
1. Start copy from “Begin Copy” until “End Copy” to your blog
(for bloggers paste on the “compose” not the “edit html” part in posting blogs so it will be linked automatically).
2. Put your own blog name and link.
3. Tag your friends as much as you can, the more the better!

1. Picturing of Life

2. Juliana’s Site

3.Hazel-My Life, My Hope, My Future.

4.Jeanne-The Callalily Space

5.Starz in De Sky

6. My Charmed Life

7.Denz Techtronics

8.Denz Recreational

9.Life’s Simple Pleasures

10. My Blog

11. Because Life is Fun

12. In This Game of Life

13.Scribbles of my Life

14.Changing Lanes

15. anna

16. joytoy

17.Surviving deployment

18. The Deviant

19. All I want is Everything

20. Shadows of love, fate and destiny

21.Tasteful Voyage

22.A mom’s note

23. Bittersweet Collide

24.Jackie Simplypinay

25.Jackie’s Everydy Life

26.Parisukat

27.Photographs and Memoirs

28.Undecided21

29.In-Depth Review

30.ExtremeComments

31. Traveler's Guide 101

32. Comments101

33. Spin101:My Stories

34.Mommy Reese

35.Never Dainty: Girl with mud smudged cheeks

YOU’RE NEXT!!!

~~ END COPY~~

I hereby tag: lainee, the other me, ZTe, buluyagonz, Borski and Nai, sendo, miss feyoh, Pharoah, and everyone else reading this!!


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posted by Ann @ 11:25 AM   0 comments
An attempt at Anger Management: My techniques
When angry, count four; when very angry, swear. ~Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894
Every one has bad days, and unfortunately, I've had a couple of them over the past few ones that passed. If you have watched Adam Sandler's Anger Management movie, I think you would understand quite completely that I have the same mode of coping with anger as he does at the start of the movie. And yes, perhaps I have go to anger management classes. But those are quite costly, and so, after watching the said movie for over 10 times now, I have developed some anger management techniques that have helped so far. I haven't pulled out my gun and shot everybody I see - YET.

So these are the things I do in order for me to calm down or to at least relieve me of my anger.

  1. Listen to Rock 'n Roll. My particular favorite is the Guns n Roses' Sweet Child o' Mine. Whenever I need to clear my head, I just play this and somehow I feel better. Weird, I know, considering that some people choose to listen to Classical musing or some ballad in order to calm down. Nothing works for me better than listening to GnR, Twisted Sister, Metallica, Queen, etc.
  2. Cleaning. Somehow diverting my pent up frustration and anger into cleaning makes me more productive and somehow it does help calm me down. At least some of the chores get done.
  3. Walking/running. A diversion from the anger. But at least I am not harming anybody else. Give me my running shoes, an mp3 player or one of those cheap Php. 50.00 radios and I am good.
  4. Eating chocolate. I have just recently discovered what people find in chocolate when feeling depressed or upset. Indeed, it does make you feel better. However, it is not as effective for me as listening to rock or running.
  5. Writing. This is one of my common outlets for ANY emotion I have. Although lately, I have not had the opportunity to vent out much online, but I still have my handy dandy Notebook! Anybody reading it would know how I am feeling especially if they feel the pages. Because the angrier I am, the harder I write. Hahaha!
  6. Dancing. Don't get me wrong, I am not the regular Janet Jackson when it comes to dancing. But I love to dance my life away. It comes most naturally when I want to lose myself I guess. Although it has been some time since I have done this (my husband laughs at my dancing).
  7. Counting to 10. I don't know where I found this trick. But I think this has been widely given. Of course, the quote above also helps in this case. ;)
  8. Singing. I do not do this as much because in as much as I love, love, LOVE music, it simply does not love me back. Translation: I cannot sing. I do hum though... and I whistle!
  9. The "I feel pretty song". I love this song, too. And though this does not help much with my anger, it makes me laugh, and I still love to sort-of sing this. Nyahahahaha..

I wish I could make it to 10. But I cannot think of any more techniques that I normally do when I'm angry. I need to control my temper and anger especially since I have babies. But you know what I really want to do? I want to try punching somebody real hard. OR simply tell somebody exactly how I feel. Like, "I HATE YOU." But then again, maybe not.

Temper's the one thing you can't get rid of, by losing it. ~ Dr. Buddy Rydell, Anger Management
What do you do when you're angry?

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posted by Ann @ 8:01 AM   3 comments
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Tibicos: Miracle Grains

"Tibicos, also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California Bees, are a culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria." - Wikipedia
Around a week ago, my colleagues and I visited a friend who was hospitalized due to a number of problems on her pelvic area. That time she was hospitalized and given stenting to help drain her right kidney which had given her some pains due to the fact that it had somewhat gotten shut off after receiving her 3rd Cesarean Section.

Due to the fact that she is having more operations in the coming months, she has visited the local Carmelites convent frequently. On her last visit, the kind Sister gave her tibicos which had arrived a month or so ago. It has been believed that tibicos somehow "heals" those who drink the beverage it forms when mixed with water and molasses.

It is said that Mother Theresa of Calcutta once journeyed to Tibet and was given these gels by the monks and masters of the region for her work. And that was how the Carmelite Sisters came across the grains which was sent from Manila, who received it from an outside source, too. In fact, it is because of these supposed healing powers that the grains are being given to those who are in need.

Tibicos are found all over the world, and there are no two cultures which are the same. "Typical tibicos have a mix of Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria with yeasts from Saccharomyces, Candida, Kloeckera and possibly others." (Wikipedia)

There are many ways to prepare tibicos for consumption which can be found all over the Internet. The following mixture was the one given by my colleague who in turn received it from the Carmelite Sister.

Ingredients:
  • 1 liter water
  • 2-3 molasses
  • Tibicos grains

Instruction(s):
  • Mix water, tibicos grains, and molasses in a huge jar.
  • Allow to ferment for 24-48 hours.
  • Drain carefully using a clean cloth. Do not throw away grains (these can be reused).

Note: Some sources say that people with defective kidneys should not drink this mixture as there are some bacteria that cannot be handled by the kidneys.

In this case, my colleague stopped drinking it for now since the state of her kidneys are not yet so clear... But she is sharing them. I look forward to having my share of these grains. I want to give some to my mom who I think badly needs it. Just a little faith in these miracle grains just might be the trick. ;)

Cheers!

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posted by Ann @ 10:44 AM   2 comments
Friday, April 11, 2008
SparkPeople: Your Best Health Buddy on the Web
Remember I found that little piece of information on "running vs. walking" from The Pursuit of Healthyness? Well, not only was I information gathering, but I was also able to find this website which has caught my attention.

SparkPeople.com: Get a Free Online Diet

I enrolled into this website and found that you do not have to be alone when you strive to be healthy, and you do NOT have to enroll or pay a lot for good service and information. SparkPeople not only gives you FREE nutrition tips based on your goals and actual body capacity, but it lets YOU track it for yourself with their guidance and care. So you are learning something new everyday.

There are also teams on the things that you want to do. Like, running, walking, going vegetarian, and other stuff. Within the teams are team leaders who you can interact with and who will try their best to answer your questions. They pep you up when you are down, and suggest alternatives whenever you do not feel much about anything.

What I love about it is that once you indicate your goal weight and the time span, everything is adjusted for you. But it does not mean that you fall apart if you miss something. Instead, there are options to change your diet, or your exercise regimen. It is even considerate enough to make you track your small misgivings or cheating. ;) I love it.

I think this would work for me especially since I have not yet started on my South Beach diet. Letting go of rice is rather hard, but I have minimized it a bit. I hope that helps! hehehe

If you liked this, why don't you give it a try? Visit their website now.

XOXO,

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posted by Ann @ 7:01 PM   0 comments
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Running versus Walking: Which One is Better?
One of my goals on my road to healthy living is to be able to run again.

Years ago, I would keep on beating myself because I would have a hard time finishing the 10+ laps around the oval that my badminton coach asked from us. Now, looking back I think I was luckier then! At my state now, I think I can barely finish one whole round on the running track.

Lately, I have been able to increase the distances of my jogs and runs through my walking. Just one step at a time. I know I wont be able to do the rounds anytime soon, but to be able to even get through half of it would be a huge achievement for me! For now, I mix it up with a walk-jog-run. I feel much better.

My friend and I were talking about my recent walking escapades and my goal to be able to run the other day. She told me that I should not run because I am a bit clumsy and I get sprained easily. I explained to her that those mishaps were a result of my neglect to stretch before any strenuous activity. But no, she would not have it. She argued that I should not concentrate on running because walking burns more than running. Another friend piped in and said that he also heard that to be true. However, I had my doubts. I always thought that when one runs for the same amount of time as the time spent on walking, you burn more and achieve more through running. And so I researched on this for my own clarification.

I stumbled upon this blog (which I really like by the way, she has become my inspiration) named The Pursuit of Healthyness. It seems the author/blogger had the same dilemma as I and I found her discussion quite informative. Here are some parts of her entry [quoted from this website]:

The truth is that speed does matter. Running burns calories at about twice the rate of walking. Part of the explanation is this: when you exercise, you burn five calories for every liter of oxygen you consume. Running involves the consumption of a lot more oxygen than does walking.

How many calories you burn running or walking also depends on your weight and other factors. However, in general, running burns about ten calories a minute, whereas walking burns about five calories a minute.

She also got this from this website:

So does running burn more calories than walking? Well, yes and no.

If you run for 20 minutes or walk for 50 minutes, you end up burning about the same amount of calories. But if you walk for 20 minutes or run for 20 minutes, running will create the biggest calorie deficit.

So... I still aim on running. :) I thank my friends for their ideas though. I promise to you, concerned ones, that I WILL stretch before running or walking so as not to sprain anything again. ;) Gracias!

Which do you prefer? Running? Walking? EATING? :D I vote for EATING but... I still want to run. :D

XOXO,

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posted by Ann @ 5:59 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Thomas Beatie: the Pregnant Man
Thomas Beatie shocked the whole world when he came out pregnant during Oprah. E! has also reported this to be true. In fact, this news made it as far as the local news channel in the Philippines. And why wouldn't it? Allegedly, this pregnant wonder is said have Filipino blood. Amazing.

Born Tracy LaGondino, Beatie had undergone a sex reassignment through testosterone therapy and chest reconstruction therapy after falling in love with Nancy (his now wife). However, after their marriage, Nancy was unable to conceive. Beatie, opted to be the one to carry their baby through artificial insemination. Although he is legally recognized as a male, Beatie had retained his female genitalia, enabling the pregnancy to be possible. After two attempts at artificial insemination, he has finally become pregnant safely and effectively. He is said to be due on July 3, 2008.


Tracy LaGondino (Before pregnancy and becoming Thomas Beatie)

Thomas Beatie - Pregnant Man (with wife Nancy)

--

There is much talk regarding this issue since it pretty much presents the idea of males getting pregnant. But the thing is, Beatie is not exactly male since he did not go through the whole sex change. The fact that he retained his female genitalia still pretty much make him female. Therefore there is not much of a BIG deal. I think.

But the issue brought forth with his announcement makes people wonder if the world is ready for males to be the carriers of the next generation.

I personally think it would be a bit okay if men had a shot at the pregnancy bit. :D Let's see how men will deal with it. But I dont think they are born for that. I mean, women were born and created in this likeness - equipped for childbirth. Men? Not so much.

What do you think about the Thomas Beatie and his pregnant state?

XOXO,

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posted by Ann @ 4:25 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Tackling a diet: South Beach
As mentioned in a previous entry, I have been trying to live healthy for the past couple of days. I have been trying to eat well and good, but it does not seem to be cutting it for me. Exercise has been on the table, too, but I'm ashamed to say that there has been some cutbacks lately. Hehehe.. But I'm getting there!

So I am contemplating on tackling a diet. I have never tried to get on a diet-diet. It has always been something on the "I eat what I want" side of things. But for the sake of healthiness, I want to try a real diet. You know what I mean.

The Deranged Palmist has tried the South Beach diet, and has had progress with it. I was thinking of trying it, too. Good luck to me! I honestly pray to God that this works. Although I am feeling much, much better than before physically, I am still striving for more.

At any rate I searched for some directions on the diet, and ended up on Wikipedia. Here are the phases of the diet according to Wikipedia. I will just post some snippets, but you can check out the rest of the details on the website.


    • Phase I: The diet begins with Phase 1, which lasts two weeks. Dieters
      attempt to eliminate insulin resistance by avoiding high or moderately
      high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as dairy, sugar, candy, bread, potatoes,
      fruit, cereals, and grains. During this phase, Dr. Agatston claims the body will lose its insulin resistance, and begin to use excess body fat, causing many dieters to lose between 8 and 13 pounds. For the first two weeks, dieters eat normal-size helpings of meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and nuts. This phase includes three meals a day, plus snacks, encouraging the dieter to eat until their hunger is satisfied. No alcohol is allowed (though red wine will be introduced later in small amounts). The dieter loses weight, changes body chemistry, and ends cravings for sugars and starches.
    • Phase II: After two weeks, Phase II begins. Whole grain foods, fruits
      and dairy products are gradually returned to the diet, although in smaller
      amounts than were likely eaten before beginning the diet, and with a continued emphasis on foods with a low glycemic index. Sweet potatoes are also now permissible, as is red wine, both in moderate amounts.
    • Phase III: After the desired weight is obtained, the diet calls to move
      into Phase III, a maintenance phase. In Phase III the diet expands to include three servings of whole grains and three servings of fruit a day.
I do not wish to join the diet per se. I mean, I do not exactly have the cash to actually commit to the diet. But I just want to emulate it and see how it goes. Wish me the best of the best of luck! Okies?

XOXO,

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posted by Ann @ 9:50 AM   3 comments
Monday, April 7, 2008
Survival tips for the Summer

I love Summer! Summer, summer, summer! Back when I was in school, I thought summer was the best thing that could happen. Not much classes (during college), and NO SCHOOL at all (when I was in my younger years). Nowadays, sometimes I fail to notice summer passing by. Surprisingly, this time around. I noticed.

Two days ago, I learned that summer is indeed here the hard way. I went to my late aunt's burial and when I came home, I found a very ugly tan line marked by the sleeves of my shirt. Lesson learned. Cover up!

Summer is supposed to be hot, but this time around, it is just too hot. But I still love it. For a person, like me, who just loves going around even in this blistering heat, I have some tips for you.

For us to enjoy our summer fully, we need to be equipped! From clothing accessories, and to other stuff, I have tried to come up with a couple of things.

  • Sunscreen - Children should definitely have sunscreen on when going out. SPF should be at least 4.
  • Wide brimmed hat - Baseball caps are not so good at protecting yourself from the sun.
  • Sunglasses - Must have UV protection. If your sunglasses do not say anything about UV protection, do not use it or do not buy it.
  • Wear lightweight and loose clothing
  • Spray-on sunscreen for hair - This protects your hair from drying up under the sun.
  • Liquids - It is VERY important to hydrate yourself these days. The heat makes one perspire more, and in the end you could be dehydrate. So, drink up.
  • Medicated lip balm - Forget that you're a guy or gal. Taking care of your lips is as important as taking care of your skin.
These things are all elementary. I know I'm supposed to tell you to stay away from the heat of the sun. But sometimes it is just too fun to pass on. So it is best to be at least a bit safe, eh? If you can't stay away from the heat, then be protected at least.

Have fun in the sun, you guys! I hope to do so, too! :D

Cheers!!

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posted by Ann @ 12:57 PM   0 comments
Saturday, April 5, 2008
The Secret Recipe of the Mouthwatering Watermelon Salad
My mom has a lot of tricks up her sleeve. What I love about her cooking is that she tries not to put a lot of twists and turns into anything. Perhaps it is because she is a very busy woman that she has accumulated a number of quick fixes for different occassions. Sometimes her methods apall me (being my grandmother's granddaughter), but most of the time, I love to copy them.

One of her many quick treats is the one I am about to share. I have been dreaming of this for days now, and I hope you can enjoy it with me.

The summer heat is just absolutely killing me. Who wouldn't want to cool down with a treat as juicy and yummy as this..?

I call this one, "AiAi's Chop n Mix Watermelon Salad".

Ingredients:
  • 1 watermelon (the size is up to you)
  • 1 box cheese (I use EDEN)
  • 1 large can evaporated milk
  • 1 small can condensed milk


Instructions:
  • Cut the watermelon into small bite sized pieces. The seeds may be taken out or not. Set it aside.
  • Cut the cheese into small cubes. Set it aside.
  • Open the cans of milk.
  • Pour the milk into the watermelon. Make sure to taste it so that you can adjust it to your preference.
  • Add the cheese to the watermelon in milk. Mix it well.
  • Put salad/mixture in the refrigerator until cooled.
  • Serve.

The watermelon salad can be served with ice cubes mixed in it.

Even as I write this, my mouth waters. *sigh* I can't wait to mix it up today. It is not so complicated, and I like it. Certainly a very nice treat for the summer, too! ;) Enjoy!!!

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posted by Ann @ 7:49 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 4, 2008
Signs of Pregnancy: Are you Pregnant or NOT?

Over the short course of three years, I have managed to give birth to two beautiful (if I may say so myself) babies. At a relatively young age of 23, I am already a mother of a 2-year old girl and a 1-year old baby boy. And I am very much happy with both of them. Thank you very much!

However, in as much as I do love my babies, I really do not want a third bouncing baby. I mean, it is just too much for me to handle, I guess. I would like another baby.. but just not right now. You get my drift?

Honestly? I am not a whiz at determining if I am pregnant or not. Up until a couple of months ago. :) My paranoia at getting pregnant has taught me a lot to watch out for symptoms and signs that I think I might be getting good at it. Hahahaha..

Recent events got me researching all over the Internet and asking around as to how to tell if one is pregnant. What happened? Oh nothing really... Just a bunch of people asking me if I'm pregnant or not. Some say I must be pregnant because I lost weight, while some ask if I am because I gained weight. Some asked because I seem to be blooming, and some, well, some people just ask because it seems I keep spawning. LoL

I would like to share them with you, just in case. Here are ways to determine if you've got a bun in your oven. Not all of them may apply, but you are welcome to try ALL of them. It never hurts to try, you know.

  • hCG test - Nothing like a good test to get rid of all anxiety and get to the bottom of things. Although there are some versions of this test that just do not work. So it does not exactly work 100%, but then again, what does? I did not know I had my second baby because I took 3 hCG tests and 2 came out negative and 1 positive. I believed the Negative. Wahaha.. Yeah, I believe what I want to believe.
  • Frequent Urination - One sign that was a dead giveaway for me was the frequent urination. Especially in the middle of the night. Even at work, I wondered why I had to urinate every hour or so. Then again, that happened to me recently, too. But I realized I just drink a LOT of water these days. :D
  • Drowsiness - This one, for me, hits the mark. When I had my first baby, all I could think about was sleep. I just wanted to sleep, sleep, and sleep. And sleep I did! If there is no reason why you should be sleepy all the time then, CONGRATULATIONS!
  • Increased appetite and cravings - For some women, the increase of appetite simply means menstruation is just around the bend. However, I believe it is when the would-be-pregnant woman would crave for something that is often illogical to crave for, THAT is it! For example, when I was pregnant with my second baby, I would ask my husband to buy me banana cue at 12 a.m. :D OR like my aunt who would ask her husband to go to events and stuff and make sure he brought home the private part of a girl lechon for her to eat. If he couldn't bring it, then he better not come home at all. See!
  • Increase of weight / bloating - Well, there are many explanations for an increase of a woman's weight. Sometimes this is due to the menstruation, still. But if she continues to gain weight, then what else could it be?
  • Missed period - Of course! If you miss it, then there must be wrong. This should be warning enough for you, right? Then again, I've had times where I missed it for a couple of months, then it just comes back...! *whew!*
  • Quickening - This is defined as the movement of the baby inside the womb. This actually almost made me faint. When I felt my baby move, I was then pretty sure I had something. Worms wouldnt make much movement, right? What else could it be? Hyperacidity just does not kick that much.
  • Heartbeat in the womb - If there is a separate heartbeat inside of you, I believe you should have yourself checked. Because if that is not a baby, then you really should be worried.
  • Moodiness - Women tend to have PMS (Pre-menstrual Syndrome). However, in this case, the if the moodiness does not go away after a while, then, "Houston, we have a bun in the oven."
  • Unusually big midsection - Sometimes it comes out as a beer belly (yes, some women have beer bellies), and sometimes it is actually a baby. There are some cases, though, for some lucky women where the midsection does not grow as big as it is supposed to. These are the cases when one does not really know for sure.
  • Glowing - I am not saying that the woman glows like a glow-worm. All I'm saying is that a pregnant woman has this GLOW around her. I really can't explain it much. It just is.
  • Breast tenderness - The breast area often becomes tender and somewhat swollen when the woman is pregnant. I believe it is the hormones. A friend of mine asked me once about this, and I think that there is this fine line between the tenderness when the woman is about to have her monthly visitor, or the woman would not be in contact with that visitor for another 9 months or so.

I think I have listed a couple of signs already. I will try to update this as I go around and pick up more clues.

I do believe that children/babies are blessings from God. God would not give you something that He knows you cannot handle. That's why I keep my head up. I keep pushing and pushing because I know that I can do this. It is a shame to bring a child into this world, only to let it suffer. Be smart! ;) I know I'm trying. Hehehe..

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posted by Ann @ 10:02 AM   1 comments
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Where's the money? Getting to know Un-earned Income

Ever wondered how the rich got richer, and stayed rich? We know they did, but we really cannot zero in on HOW they did it.

One thing I learned over the past few months is that there is such a thing as Un-earned Income. This income is that you did not earn. Yes. That's right, income that you did not sweat for, work for, or bled for. So how can you get income without actually WORKING for it? Here are some of un-earned income sources:
  • Rent from land
  • Profit from trading
  • Profit from exchange
  • Interest
  • Dividends from investments
Why am I interested in Un-earned Income? When you think about it, one can only work as much. You bust your butt, toil till your bones grow weary, and still you can only work for around 24 hours a day, in 7 days a week if you must. And if you earn a Php. 80.00 ($2.00 [at Php. 40.00 exchange rate]) an hour, how much is that? That's Php. 1,920.00 a day. Of course, by the time you reach a whole month, you'd be almost dead without sleep and not seeing your loved ones. Is it worth it? Well, I got as far as handling 3 jobs at one point, and I was almost dying. I knew I could not last any longer.

What I am getting at is, "do not work HARD. Let your money work hard for you." Now, there is a whole ballgame out there. Something we should get our hands into if we really want to earn more. I will be posting more on this in the following days. Perhaps every Tuesday [I dub this, "Tuesday's Cash"]. Let us learn how to be richer, and stay rich. Together.

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posted by Ann @ 9:05 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Ann
Home: Philippines
About Me: even when she has fairy wings on, this girl is anything BUT dainty. perhaps the size, the weight, and the personality alone are just too much for her to be considered delicate, prim, proper, and refined. this girl with the mud smudged cheeks has been down on the ground one to many times. these times forced her to be tougher, smarter, and more savvy than she has ever been. perhaps she will always be, never dainty. email me: neverdainty [at] gmail [dot] com
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