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Tuesday – 21 Sep 2010

Tuesday – 21 Sep 2010


[smartads] With a driving desire to brush my teeth and an even more desire to go to the CR, I hurried out of bed at 0638 this morning.  After I completed all of that I turned on the computer anticipating the 5000 hit mark.  When I went to bed around 12:30 -ish, I had exactly 4700 hits.  But it was only 4786 and no comments.   That’s the first time I didn’t have ‘any’ comments when I woke up.  Anyway, I’m anticipating some during the course of the day.  None yet.

Lita wants me to make pancakes again this morning.  I told you I created a monster for myself.  Now I’m the Hotcake Honcho around here.  No one else will make them, but if I do, they want some.  Think that is because I’m so good at it?  Nah!  I don’t do anything special and I over-cook half of them.  Just a hassle that everyone else would rather not have to do.  It’s fine though, I get to flip little hotcakes up in the air and try to catch them on their other side without them scrunching up.

I’m going to have to convince Lita that I need a new C-drive.  I mean I do need one, but she might not understand that.  Now if this blog was making money already and I told her that, she wouldn’t even ask questions probably, except just to ask, “How much do you need?”.  I could just go get the C-drive and let her know later, but since she has so many projects going on right now, we still have utilities and she does most of the shopping, I think it’s best to let her know where all the money is going.

I need a wrist pad for this computer too.  My wrists are getting rubbed raw on the towel I have on the computer desk.  It’s a soft towel, but the way I have to hold my wrists when I type it rubs and leaves red streaks and little holes.

Did you know that here in the Philippines, they do not shortcut air conditioner with a/c?  I know some of y’all do.  But when I first got here, even though I had already visit here 6 previous times, I didn’t realize that they didn’t even know what a/c was.  I told Mar that when we build the house, will will need to have at least 2 a/c’s, maybe 3.  Now this is a guy with a Doctor’s degree in Engineering and Vice President of the biggest University in the city, and his response was, “What’s a/c?”  I know it’s not his fault, he’s a very smart and happening dude.  I think it’s just one of those language barrier things.  Here they call it “air con”.  Now that was easier to figure out, “air con”.  A/C could have been a lot of things to him, but to me and millions of Americans, it’s an automatic thing to think of air conditioner.  Anyway, I thought it was a cute little story I would share.  I was thinking about it again yesterday.  This happen back in May of this year, when we were first discussing the house plans.  Mar has big plans for our house.  He wants to make it a model house for his Engineering feats.  He plans to take a picture of it when/if it ever gets done and publish it.  If he can get it to look anything like the picture that we hoped the house would look like, then he deserves to have it published.

Our house WAS suppose to be something like this.

I’m hoping that soon we will have enough money to continue with the plans and then maybe I will stop worrying about it.  Not that I worry too much, but it’s always on my mind.   Will it ever get done?

Today is exactly 1 month since I started the blog.  I’m going to give myself an overall grade of a ‘B-‘ so far.  I’m giving that grade because I have learned a lot of things about blogging, I have meant a lot of nice people, I’ve gotten no negative comments and I’m having fun doing it.  On the other hand though, I still am not generating any income from blogging, I still have so much more to learn, I’ve got less than 5000 hits (which I’m told is okay, just not great) and I worry that people will tire of reading the same old thing, unless I get out and do a lot of adventurous things (and I don’t want to do too many things, some is okay).

Arnel is here.  I hear him out there working on the wall.  Maybe we could get Pink Floyd to help him work on The Wall.  I’ll take pictures later to record his progress and pass it on to y’all.

Juvic Joy.  It seems that since Cora is not coming, even though I’m not ruling that out, Juvic will be working for us.  She will not be sleeping here because her father can come pick her up when she is finished with work.  She will work from 10am – 10pm.  Not sure of how much she will be paid, but she will.  Hopefully that will settle her down a little and she will become the wonderful, beautiful woman that I know she can be, if she applies herself.  If Cora decides to come, well that’s okay too.   We’ll have 3 or 4 people working for us then, depending on what they decide with Lynn.  Oh, plus Vicky’s son is suppose to start soon too.  I wonder when that is.  I should find that out today.  Of course, remember he is only going to be part time (after school and on weekends).

It’s 0845 now and still no comments.  Is everyone there alright?  Did America blow up and someone forgot to tell me?  Just checking.

Finally got 1 comment from Gloria around 9:20, I wasn’t here when it came in so I can’t be exact on the time.  Don’t know why I’m so obsessed about comments today.  Maybe this comment from Gloria will shut me up.

I just finished helping Lita make the bed.  Why do they call it, “making the bed”?  You’re not actually making the bed, you’re just putting sheets, blankets and pillows on top of a bed that is already made.

Tagalog word of the day:  kama (ka-ma) means bed.

I hear Titing outside.  He is singing almost all the time when he comes by, so he’s easy to pick out, even it you are not looking.  He sings a lot of American songs and sometimes he messes the words up, I mean who doesn’t, but for him, I’ll listen and if he messes up I’ll correct him, if I know the lyrics.  But I always wait until he is finished.  Sometimes when he sings a little, I can tell if he is not sure if he is singing it right, because he will look at me, like saying “Is that right”?  Then I’ll correct him right away.  I won’t make up lyrics to try to fool him or have him singing it wrong forever.  He might not trust me after that.  Besides, I’m not much of a liar.

I just had a whole lot of things typed in here instead of this, but it was ranting and raving about the poor job the government is doing to fix the utilities, roads and housing in this country.  I decided it wasn’t proper for this blog.  It showed my mad and evil side.  I will finish my ranting and raving and post it somewhere though.  If you want to know about it, I’ll send you the name of it after I decide on whether it will be “Stupid Government” or whatever.  I’m already bored with not much to do, then when I try to do something I like, this blog, there is always a brown out.  We’ve had 4 brown outs today.  It’s only 7:44pm.  We might have more before the night is over.  I’m still pissed off about that, I better log off here before I start again.  Happy reading and happy days.

Salamat, Paalam


  1. Hi UJ, I found your site through Bob Martin’s new expat listings. I’ve read through your posts, and enjoyed your “ramblings” too. You seem like a nice guy and I like that you seem to get along well with family and neighbors, and have adapted pretty well to living in the province so far.
    Best of luck with your’s and your wife’s many enterprises, and I give you credit for sticking with them and always dreamimg up something new!
    IMHO I’d rather that you continue the way that you’re going with the style of this particular blog. It seems that there are so many expats that are so angry and insulated all the time, and have trouble relating to Filipinos and family members, and I can find those rants everywhere, and they get pretty old. Don’t sell yourself short about your lack of material–your simple observations are unique and “a slice of life” in the province. Keep up the good work! Queenie

    • Thanks Queenie. I’m glad you like it the way it is, because I don’t really know how to be any other way. Now sometimes I do get upset, especially with all these brownouts, and you’ll hear about it, but I try not to stress on it too much. I almost did, but I erased that part and figured it didn’t belong in this blog. I see you agree, ranting and raving about the conditions here are throughout the web. Besides, no one forced us to move here. I hope you continue to read and enjoy the blog, I’ll ‘ramble’ as much as I can and try to keep it interesting at the same time. And if you ever do have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know and I’ll check them out. You said you, “read through the posts”, did you read ALL the posts? From 21 Aug? That’s a lot of reading if you did, but if you did read them all and you still wrote such a nice comment, you must have really liked it. Thanks again, and hope to see more comments from you in the future.

      • Hi UJ, I did read all your posts over a couple of days, and I found that they drew me in. Of course everyone’s experiences are different as the places that they decide to settle are different and chosen for different reasons. A lot of expats that write don’t talk about their sites being in more rural areas, and that’s what I enjoyed about yours. The thing about living in the province as opposed to in or around the outskirts of a city, you get a totally different experience–more immersion into the lives of your average Filipino. and how you learn to fit in in your own way. You have captured that rythm so far. You know that many sites are dull in that these expats live in the Philippines, but never seem to interract very effectively with many Filipino people. even to close family members! Some sites seem to write theirt postings in a more “tongue and cheek” or sarcastic way–maybe that’s their way of coping, but most times they come off sounding smug or superior, I personally like your simple quality, and I can say that because I’ve gone through searching many Philippine expat blogs, only to be disappointed with the content, and never visiting back. Well nuff said–keep up the writing, I’m sure others like mr will get drawn in too!

        • Well cool. Glad to be making such an impact. There are a few people out there that agree with you. I just published the post for today, so I hope it lives up to the standards. I know what you mean about some foreigners acting superior. I’ve made it a point to NOT do that while I’m here. I’ll stick with the simple quality and hope you are right about others getting drawn in.

  2. Wait until circuit breaker on transformer on pole trips and it takes an electrican to show up 12 hrs later with bamboo pole and ladder to reset same. Must of came from Luzon. Or after typhoon power is off for 2 weeks. Samelco acts like they are doing you a favor by supplying you power.

    • Well something happens here all the time. Sometimes the power goes out here and maybe the 2 houses on either side of us and that the only places with no power. Actually I just got back online now from a brown out at 9:07am this morning. Power back on at 3:33pm. Their excuse was that they had to work on the breaker on the line. That’s usually their excuse.
      I haven’t been through a typhoon in Samar yet, but I don’t think they will be that bad. Of course this stupid electrical system will probably die on us, just as you say.

  3. Hey.

    Just found your blog and made it through all of your posts. I will be moving to Manila in January and am originally from the states (Arkansas) so am interested in your point of view of living in PI.

    You mentioned that you did not want to post your rant and raves. But I think thats a portion of what people want to read and experience living abroad.

    I am currently living in Singapore, and they have a blog called the “Angry Angh Moh” which means foreignor. He has been around and as the title says, presents his views of living in SG. Not all negative but from his perspective. The blog is well done so and commercialised so you may want to give it a visit for any pointers.

    Good Luck,

    • You read all those posts? Wow, that’s a lot of reading for just finding the site. Yeah, as we were discussing earlier, I just feel more comfortable if it wasn’t on this site. I mean I could if it didn’t bother everyone, but so far what I’ve been doing seems to be gathering interest. Maybe every now and then I’ll put a pet peeve in there. How’d you like the blog reading? Guess it was okay if you read so many. Any suggestions? I have a Filipino friend that lives there in Singapore. We met back in Texas. Not sure of his company though. He’s got a nice looking new son though. Any hoot, hope you enjoyed the reading, and you continue to read and check up on me to make sure I’m not killing politicians.

  4. damn the heart didnt show <3 was tryin to add icons like winda y– guess i suk at it..lmao

    • It’s not you, Joyce. There seems to be a lot of graphics that do not “take” here. Let’s try a few: this is angry >:-o , cry :'( , evil grin >:-} , foot-in-mouth :-!

      You have a mad and evil side? WoOOooo… 😉

      Filipinos worldwide have hundreds of electronic groups where the members rant and rave about the government 99% of the time. There was a collective sigh of relief when Aquino finally got elected, even with the awareness that since expectations were so high after decades of looters in the government, disappointments would fall from great heights. Even before he finished his first day in office, there were those who never let up on the attacks. The HK tourists bus fiasco was heaven-sent to these critics. The bitterest of them continue to insist that the President is a psycho, that he’s a deranged smoker [as tho smoking is mortal sin], etc. My personal view is that finding an Honest Politician is miracle enough. Everything else is a bonus. Oh. Where did that soapbox come from?

      • Yes I have a mad and evil side, and it’s not pretty.
        Well I figured there were some sites that must be discussing this disgusting way that this country is being run. But I figured that it had no place on this blog. If I get off into discussing politics, I’m liable to go any direction and say anything. Best that I stick to what I’ve been doing and let the other sites rant and rave. Maybe I’ll join them there. I personally think that every politician won’t do crap to help the public until it comes around to election time, and then sometimes it’s only a ‘promise’. Some people as just so stupid and keep voting the same idiots into office over and over, when all the politician has done for the country is steal money from the people. It’s outrageous the way people have not clue what is going on around them. Aquino is not going to be able to fix anything, even if he turns out to be the most honest politician that lived, unless you can find a way to counter all those powerful Senators.

  5. now ur blogs r to its only 1pm here and i have to wait until tomorrow to read summin new….show me some more you can e-mail me some pics if u dont want to post them.<3

    • too long, too short…make up my mind will ya. I’ll put a couple of pictures, then I’m going to bed.

  6. Along with the a/c aircon confusion, the locals use ref instead of fridge. Maybe they use ref in Texas but here in Montana, it is fridge. When my wife to be said we need to buy a ref, I looked at her like she was from Mars. A ref is a guy who wears a black and white striped shirt and has a whistle in his mouth.

    As for the ranting about the government, go right ahead. I rant about it all the time. A classic example of the government is the SCTEX, the Subic, Clark, Tarlac Expressway which runs from Subic Bay northeast to Tarlac. This opened up a little over a year ago and they are already shutting down long portions of it to be fixed. Plus, when they built it, there was not even an interchange for the Clark portion. Now they have two interchanges but they didn’t have any when it first opened. A friend and I decided to drive to Subic from Angeles City one day. We can see the expressway from our apartments but in order to get on the expressway, we had to drive east to Dau. We got on the expressway in Dau but they did not have it set up to head west to Subic from the entrance. You had to drive a ways to the northeast, make a u-turn to get over to the westbound lanes and then you could head west. 25 minutes after we left our apartments, we were on the expressway heading west to Subic and, if you looked to the left, you could see our apartments. Why didn’t they build all the interchanges when they built the expressway in the first place? Rumor is that the land where the interchanges were going to be built had to be purchased by local politicians first before they could be built. That way, the local politicians could sell the land to the government for a nice tidy profit. I don’t know if that is true or not, but it would not surprise me. I used to bitch to my wife that they spent billions of pesos on an expressway that is hardly ever used and yet the national highway from Calbayog north to San Joaquin looked like it had been used for bombing practice by the Air Force. Jen tells me that they are slowly fixing that section of the highway and you can drive for several kilometers at once without having to slow down because of a huge hole in the pavement. I remember two years ago, there was a huge hole in the pavement on one of the bridges. You could see down to the river below. In order to let drivers know about the hole, an enterprising local planted a tree in the hole so drivers could avoid the hazard.

    I have high hopes for the new administration though. Maybe the government will get their priorities straight for once. Cross your fingers.

    • Amen.
      A ref is a guy in a striped suit, check.
      In Texas a refrigerator is called a “refrigerator”.
      But I guess some call it a fridge too.
      All of my post that I WAS going to put there was not really for mixed company either. I really was laying it on thick, and as I think about it, it’s starting to come back. Gotta go.

Texan in the Philippines