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Thursday – 21 Jul 2011

Thursday – 21 Jul 2011


[smartads] When I don’t have my own pictures I like to look for different pictures on the Internet about the Philippines.  Most of the time I select a city or area and put in a variety of pictures for that along with the location I found the picture, unless the location has a broken link, then if I still want to use the picture, I just use it.

The Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is a region in the Philippines composed of the provinces of AbraApayaoBenguetIfugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, as well as Baguio City, the regional center. The Cordillera Administrative Region encompasses most of the areas within the Cordillera Central mountains of Luzon, the largest mountain range in the country. It is the country’s only land-locked region. The region is home to numerous indigenous tribes collectively called the Igorot.

20 Jul – Hits @ 0100 = 710359 = 6420 (23 hrs, 59 mins).

I woke up this morning at 0558.  I laughed because it was so early, went to the CR, then went back to bed.  When I woke up again, it was 0943.  I laughed again because it was so late, but then I got up.

Useless Knowledge:  On his way home to visit his parents, a Harvard student fell between two railroad cars at the station in Jersey City, New Jersey, and was rescued by an actor on his way to visit a sister in Philadelphia. The student was Robert Lincoln, heading for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The actor was Edwin Booth, the brother of the man who a few weeks later would murder the student’s father.  (Maybe this is useless, but it is interesting)

I’m in here on the Internet and Lita keeps trying to get me to eat.  First she gives me a Mountain Dew, the offers me some pandesol (rolls) and finally 4 ears of cooked corn.  I took the Mountain Dew and the corn.  The pandesol I like, but with peanut butter and we’re out of that right now.  I already ate it all.  She’s going downtown later and said she will pick some up for me.

That Affiliate thing was not working on a separate page.  I think I only had 1 person actually go to it since it’s been moved.  So I put it back on the front page, but I split it up in two sections so it wouldn’t be so terrible looking all on one side.  At least it looked bad to me, but it’s y’all I want to be happy with the site.  I left the page the way it was so there are now two ways to get to the Click Bank Affiliates, front page and Click Bank page.

I talked with John Michael today for awhile.  He was cooking pork chops and mashed potatoes.  The strange thing about that was it was almost 0300 there.  He said he took a nap earlier and just couldn’t sleep all the way through the night.  After he was up for a bit, a couple of the grand kids woke up and they were hungry too.  Seems that at least one of my grandsons, Joshua, is hungry all the time.  Reminds me of me when I was his age.  I hope he learns to control it better than I did.

It’s a pretty boring day around here today.  We did have Titing’s boss’s boss here for a little inspection.  He heard he was pretty satisfied when he left, so that’s good news.

It looks like Robbie has a new Yaya for her mga bata, but mostly for Fay while she is home and everyone else is at work or school.  I don’t know her name yet or even if she is permanent or temporary, but I’ll find out.  I’ll get a picture of her also.  I don’t know how old she is but she looks to be maybe 16.  There are lots of good looking young ladies around here.  Too bad I’m not a good looking young (single) man.  Oh well, I did pretty good.  It doesn’t seem like it at times, but I’m sure everyone feels the same way from time to time.

I made more stew today and, if I do say so myself, and I do, it was extra good.  I didn’t share any of it this time, so now I’ll have enough to eat tomorrow also.  At this point I have already eaten 2 bowls of it and there are at least 2 more bowls worth in there.  Scarey thing is if I had all the ingredients that I wanted, I could make that stew taste even better.

When we get the restaurant, hopefully by February, I’m going to put that on the menu.  I don’t know how popular it would be with the locals, even though all of them that have tried it said they liked it, but some of the foreigners that are not so into the Philippines food would probably find it to be a welcomed relief.  I guess I could have a small portion and a large portion.  Filipinos don’t eat much, but other nationalities, especially most Americans, do. I doubt if anyone would ever be able to duplicate the recipe either.  I use a special blend of seasonings that, at this time, only Lita knows how to mix and all of those ingredients are not available in Calbayog right now either.  Maybe after the new supermarket(s) are built.

I’ll be approaching my section of the menu as I would like for it to be if I was visiting a restaurant here.  If I see some familiar things on there, I feel more at ease.  Beef stew, chicken stew, fried chicken and french fries are some of the things that would make me comfortable enough to order.  I think that with the proposed growth of Calbayog and being right across from the Ciriaco Hotel, the most expensive hotel on the island, will be a good boost for a restaurant here.  I want to try to make all nationalities at ease and hopefully eventually the word will get out about the Blue Gazebo Cafe and things will pick up.  That’s the advertisement by mouth method that seems to be better than anything else.

Useless Knowledge:  Right after World War II, a pinup photo of actress Rita Hayworth adorned the first test A-bomb, dropped on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in July 1946. Rita was a real bombshell!

It’s been raining a little today, and it is some welcomed rain.  Slow rain that just gets the ground wet to keep the dust from blowing everywhere, creates a cool breeze, plus just a little bit more rain.

Dang I got toothpaste on my shirt.  I just put this one on a little while ago.  Oh well, I’ve got lots of shirts that fit me now that I’ve lost those 70 pounds.

While I was taking the notes for this post, I was typing with my daughter-in-law, Rose, on Messenger.  It was just past 0500 there and all 8 of the family members were up and active.

The sound on the computer is acting up again.  Sometimes I can’t hear on the Messenger and sometimes they can’t hear.  I’m pretty sure both problems are something at my end too, because if I log off, open up the computer, readjust things that don’t look like they need readjusting and the turn it back on, it works.  One of these days this whole computer is just going to fall apart.  When/If I ever get enough extra money, I’m going t fix everything on it that I can.  If it can’t be fixed, I’m going to replace it with a new device.  It’s been over 2 years since I’ve done any improvements on this computer and I usually try to do something at least once a year.

I suppose that by now you’ve noticed the change on the front page.  I think it looks pretty good and I would not have thought that if you just told me the colors would be brown and apricot.   It just looks like it’s easier to read.  I tried to put a different background on it, but I don’t know how and I’m not sure it’s even possible with this theme.

Lita is on a “Kill the ants” rampage again.  She’s got me throwing some more vinegar on them.  I’m for sure buying some bug spray, that doesn’t stink like the last one, when we go to Tacloban.  I sure get tired of hearing about those ants.

I just checked to see how much more I had to write for this post and there is still a lot.  I was going to just put some of it on tomorrow’s post, but I already have a lot of information for tomorrow too.  So I hope y’all are prepared for these 2 long posts.

The above website contains the official seals of every Province in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

I sent some of the pictures of the grand kids to my son, because they lost most of theirs.  I don’t have that many, a couple of dozen, and the ones I do have are old ones, but they were some that they didn’t have, so that worked out.  I informed him that he needs new ones before they get old and move away.  He said he would and when he does, he will send some of them to me.  When he does, I’ll post some of them on here.  I put some of the Christmas one I had on here before, but it’s been awhile since I’ve done that.

I had to buy a couple of bottles of water today.  I’ve been drinking more and more water recently.  When it’s good and cold, I still like it better than any other drink I’ve had.  I told Neneng that if she sold cold water, I’d buy all my water from her.  Well even if it isn’t cold, I can put it in the freezer.  Usually when I’m buying it though, I want to have one right then.  She told me that she can’t get the 1 liter bottles anymore for the supplier…wait a minute… didn’t I tell y’all this already?  Well …whatever… she said that they can only get the 1/2 liter bottles and those are barely worth opening for me.  They are usually gone in 2 or 3 drinks.  She going to check on it again though to be sure and also check on some 2 liter Mountain Dew bottles.

Someone from Kwun Tong (China) searched for “Philippine expat blog” and got my Education page.  I hope they found the “Other Expat Sites” links and checked those out.  There is lots of information in those for people wanting to know.

Qais informs me that he has confirmed that Robinsons has purchased the RFM area and some improvements will soon begin.  By December this year the whole RFM will be shut down and the construction on the new mall will begin.

RFM is where the gym is, so I guess I’m not going to get to go there after all.  I hope they relocate or maybe give me one of their elliptical machines.  I’d give them a free spot on my blog for one of those machines if it’s working properly.  I doubt this will ever happen, so maybe a new gym will be built somewhere close.  I’d rather have my own machine and place it in here by the computer.

I’m going to try to remember to do a weekly average of the number of hits I get on the website.  I guess every Sunday.  I’m marking it on the calendar now, I hope I don’t forget.  I’d like to get to the point that I was told that sponsors would actually contact me and pay me to put ads on the website.  That would be another stepping stone on my journey to a perfect blog.  That’s probably unachievable, but it’s a goal.  That seems far fetched right now, but thanks to you readers out there, this blog has been doing very well.  I still haven’t collected any money from it yet, but I’m learning things and I think I’m doing a pretty good, not perfect, job for all of us.

I went outside to talk with Emei and J for awhile.  Emei was drinking his Tanduay with some red Sting (Pepsi energy drink) and J was cutting up a white squash.  It was one of those talk sessions where you talk about many things, but you are really not talking about anything.

When it got to 9:30pm I told them I had to come back in to finish the post.  I also needed to take a shower and I wanted to watch The Biggest Loser – Pinoy Edition.

While I was doing yesterday’s post Lita brought me a Mountain Dew.  It was nice and cold and it really hit the spot, nice and refreshing.

Useless Knowledge:  Aristotle believed the main purpose of the human brain was to cool the blood.

The End.  I know it was a long post and tomorrow’s looks to be the same.  I hope y’all are still awake at this point and things are going well for you.

Salamat, Palaam

Today in Philippine History


William Rufus Day,
Imperialist Asst. State Secretary

1898 – Five weeks after the Filipinos declared Philippine  independence during the Revolution against Spain, United States  Assistant Secretary of State William Rufus Day writes a letter supposedly  rebuking American Consul-General E. Spencer Pratt in Singapore  for “undiplomatically” allowing Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy to believe that the U.S. Government would recognize  the independence of the Southeast Asian archipelago after Spain  is defeated and on condition that the Filipinos help the US  in the Spanish-American War; truth is, days or weeks earlier, a  number of other American officials, including Gen. Thomas Anderson,  Consul General in Hong Kong Rounsevelle Wildman, and particularly Admiral George Dewey took turns deceiving Aguinaldo into thinking the US will honor Filipino independence  (only 16 days  earlier, Gen. Anderson Day wrote Aguinaldo to ask him to cooperate  with the United States in the war against Spain, categorically  stating that Americans are sympathetic  with the people of the  Philippine Islands); the apparent deception would lead Aguinaldo to stupidly order the Filipino forces “not to interfere” and freely allow the American forces to position themselves for the eventual US invasion of the Philippines; by February of the following year,  Bald Eagle President William McKinley will secretly instigate hostilities leading to the the bloody and protracted Filipino-American War (19899-1914).

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  1. Don’t know if you’ve seen this, JJ:

    Homemade Ant Killers: Recipes & Tips

    When trying to get rid of ants, it’s helpful to first have a basic understanding how ants live and thrive:

    Ants live in colonies and one class of ant within the colony is the worker/gatherer/forager. Worker ants make up approximately 10% of the colony and it’s their job to go out, find and collect food then bring it back to feed the rest of the colony.

    Ants are mainly looking for two things: food and water. If it’s getting cold outside, they also like to settle in to find shelter. Below I’ve listed various home remedies and solutions for ant control (along with some tidbits of information on ant behavior and habits).

    Getting Rid Of Ants

    List Of Homemade Spray Cleaner Recipes

    Clean countertops and surfaces well with one of the cleaners below, these can also be used to spray ants directly.

    Marching Ants Looking For Food
    ■Vinegar & Water (50/50 mix)
    ■Cider Vinegar & Water (50/50 mix)
    ■One of these essential oils: Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel Extract (1 tablespoon) plus water–per spray bottle
    ■Liquid Dish Detergent & Water (about 1 tablespoon detergent, fill spray bottle with water).

    Did You Know: Ants leave a scented trail for each other so they can easily find their way back to the jackpot (the food source in your home). Trails can be both visible and invisible to human eyes, but ants can follow the trails with ease. Washing away these trails will confuse them and make it more difficult to find their favorite places. Making your own cleaners with the above ingredients also adds a repellent that ants will avoid.

    Baiting The Ants

    Pouring Honey
    When you provide a tempting treat to the ant that is actually poison (known as ant bait), you want to make sure it’s not too strong that it will kill the ant before it gets back to the colony (sometimes ants are gone for days), and that it’s not too weak that it’s ineffective. You want poisoned food brought back to the nest for the rest of the colony to ingest.

    The type of food an ant looks for is either sugar or protein, it depends on what the needs of the colony are at the time. This is why a “tried and true” ant killer recipe that came highly recommended doesn’t work for you, the bait holds no interest for the ants in your home.

    Tip: First determine if the ants in your house are after sugar or protein. Leave a sample of each bait out and see which ones the ants go for. Once you’ve determined what they’re hungry for, set out a few baits with their choice.

    Homemade Ant Bait Recipes

    Sugar Bait

    2 TBS Boric Acid (Borax)
    Jam (or Jelly, Honey, Maple Syrup)
    ■Mix the boric acid with the jam or jelly to make a paste. Slather it on a piece of paper, a plate or in a covered container with holes. You may have to adjust amount of Boric Acid if the ants seem to eat up the bait like crazy, but are getting fatter from it instead of dying.

    Sugar Bait

    2 cups Sugar
    1 cup Water
    2 TBS Boric Acid (Borax)
    ■Mix and place in small saucers around the home.

    Protein Bait

    2 TBS Boric Acid (Borax)
    Peanut Butter or Bacon Grease
    ■Mix and set out in mounds on pieces of paper or plates.

    Sugar Bait

    1 cup Confectioners Sugar
    2 TBS Boric Acid (Borax)
    ■Leave this in little mounds or in covered containers with holes.

    Sugar Bait

    2 TBS Molasses
    1 TBS Yeast
    1 TBS Sugar
    ■Mix and place mounds on paper, plates or in covered containers with holes.

    Important: When baiting the ants to bring poison back to the nest, resist the temptation to kill them when you see them. You want them to live and take big juicy pieces of poisoned bait back to the nest for the rest of the colony to feast on.

    Baiting Tips:
    ■Boric Acid can be harmful if swallowed. If you have kids or pets in the home, set the bait in covered plastic containers with a few holes poked in the sides. You could also use glass jars sealed with lids–just poke holes in the top lid. For strong attraction, smear a bit of non-poisoned bait on top of the lid so the ants find it easily.
    ■For best results lay out fresh bait daily.
    ■Lay the bait in areas where you see regular ant activity and near their points of entry if you know them.
    ■Don’t be diligent washing away the ant trails, you want them to find the bait spots easily again and again. All the worker ants in the colony can follow each others trails, so even if you killed off the first foragers, their partners will follow the trail they left.
    ■You may find that a sugar bait will be popular for a few days, then a protein bait is needed as the ants switch to protein foods. Change your bait method as needed.
    ■If you’ve set out both types of bait (sugar and protein) yet the ants are attracted to neither, reduce the amount of boric acid used until they starting feasting on the bait.

    Did You Know: If a colony senses something is up when its members start dying and begins to feel stressed, the Queen Ant will likely give orders for the colony to split up into a few smaller colonies, trying to preserve as many members as she can. This is why it may take several days of laying out fresh ant bait regularly–you’re trying to get enough poison into all the colonies to wipe out the whole lot.

    Killing Ants By Destroying Their Nests

    Find the ant nest and pour one of the following solutions into it. Cover your legs and wear rubber boots if possible, the ants will be streaming out of the nest while you’re doing this.

    Nest Destroying Methods:
    ■1/4 cup liquid dish detergent per gallon of boiling water (add soap after water has been removed from heat). This will likely kill surrounding grass and plants. (Good remedy for fire ants).
    ■Pour large amounts of cider vinegar down inside the ant hill. Do this around the surrounding area as well, for at least three days. Will likely kill plants and grass too.
    ■Bring water to a boil, mix in salt to make a strong salt solution and pour down nest. Repeat over three days (and pour over surrounding area as well to prevent ants from rebuilding in the area).
    ■Disturb their home regularly: Flood the ant hill with lots of water (just use the garden hose and let the water run for awhile). Do this daily for at least a week or two. The ants will get fed up and move.

    ■Ants can live submerged in water for several days so you need to using boiling hot water to kill them. Pouring boiling hot water into the nest is effective on its own but you could also try adding an ingredient (as shown above) to make the remedy more powerful.
    ■Pour slowly into nest so the water has time to get into all the tunnels and surrounding soil. Do three times the first day, then at least once a day for the next three days.
    ■The best time to do this is when the ants are moving up closer to the earth’s surface (when it’s not too hot or cool). Typically between 10 a.m. and noon on a sunny day is the best time.
    ■You could also try liberally covering the mound with one of the ant repellents listed below (cinnamon, salt, etc.).

    Not Advised:
    ■Pouring kerosene or gasoline on the nest used to be a common method for killing the ant colony, but it’s not only dangerous it’s also harmful for the surrounding soil.

    Did You Know: Ants not only build their colonies outside, they can also setup house inside. If you see small ant hills inside your home, vacuum them up (and dispose vacuum contents in sealed plastic bags immediately). If a large nest has been built inside your home, this is a good time to bring in an exterminator.
    ■Tip: If it’s winter (below freezing) and your home has ants, you likely have a nest inside the house.

    Controlling Ants Inside The Home

    The first line of defense is making your home unattractive to ants. Make sure to wipe up spills immediately and wipe off counters, tables and stovetops regularly leaving no crumbs behind. Sweep and wash floors regularly. Don’t leave dirty dishes around the house or in the sink. Keep dry foods (like flour, cereal, sugar, oats, etc.) in air tight containers. Take out garbage regularly and wash out all food packaging and pop bottles before putting in the recycle bin.

    Although a sloppy home will attract ants, having ants in your home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a poor housekeeper–the ants could be after water. If it’s dry outside and there’s not a nearby water source, ants will be in your home on the hunt for water. They’ll find it in houseplants, sinks and drains, pet water dishes and cups left out containing liquids.

    List Of Natural Ant Repellents

    Ground Cinnamon
    Look for cracks or holes in the house where the ants are coming from, spread any of these repellents around the holes (or combination of items on the list). Also spread around window sills, along baseboards, in corners and outside doors. The theory is that since ants are repelled by these items, they’ll turn back. Success of the repellents can depend on the species of ants in your home.
    ■Ground Black Pepper
    ■Bay Leaves
    ■Whole Cloves
    ■Red Chili Powder (sprinkle liberally or make a paste with water and apply at entrance)
    ■Red Pepper Flakes
    ■Used Coffee Grounds
    ■Cucumber Peels
    ■Essential Oils: Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus. Swab these around entrance points.

    Tip: Plugging holes and cracks with caulking or filling with vaseline will physically block the ants from entering.

    Food Barriers

    The ants could be attracted to your pet’s food dish, a potted plant or dish of candies. Either keep food sealed until needed or surround it with a water barrier so the ants can’t get to the food. Fill a baking pan with water and set the pet food dish (or potted plant, etc.), in the middle. Mixing in a little liquid dish detergent with the water will be a strong repellent as well as prevent the water from becoming a water source for the ants.

    If it’s a potted plant that’s infested with ants, repot the plant in a fresh pot of soil, washing roots clean of previous soil. You can try submerging the pot in a bucket of water for about 15 minutes to make the ants flee, but this won’t remove larvae that may be present.

    Natural Outdoor Ant Deterrents

    Ant Carrying A Leaf

    Look for entry ways into the home via tree branches touching the house (including the roof), drain pipes, outdoor plants, shrubs, etc., trim these back if possible. Otherwise, wrap branches and pipes with a sticky substance that will trap the ants before they enter the home (duct tape facing sticky side out should do it).

    If your house exterior will tolerate it without staining (test a small area first), spray a mixture of liquid dish detergent and water around the foundation of the home. There will be a soap residue left on the surface as the water evaporates, hopefully enough to deter the ants from crossing it. Straight vinegar sprayed on the ground around the house can help too (both methods may harm grass and plants).
    ■Mint: Plant fresh mint around the foundation of the house (can also have potted inside), or sprinkle crushed mint around entrances.
    ■Tansy, Lavender & Sage: Plant as mint above.
    ■Mix cloves and ground pepper with flour (3 TBS spice to 1 cup flour) and spread around areas that have heavy ant activity, this will help scatter them. Do this when there’s no sign of rain.
    ■Diatomaceous Earth: (can also use inside the home) Nice, non-toxic pesticide that is pet & child friendly. Probably the most effective naturally occurring protective powder, this is a great option if the ant nest is underneath a deck or patio and sidewalk blocks. Sprinkle this in the cracks that the ants will have to crawl up through. Diatomaceous Earth is easily picked up by the hairy bodies of most insects, whereupon it scratches through their protective wax layers and they also absorb some of this material. The result being that the insects lose water rapidly, dry up and die. Further protection is provided by the powder’s property of repelling many insects. In houses it can be used effectively to prevent the entry of certain insects such as earwigs, ants, and cockroaches, and to control these and others that are present in cupboards containing food, carpets, basements, attics, window ledges, pet areas (for fleas), etc. In all of these examples it is important to place a small amount of the powder in corners, cracks, crevices and other areas where insects might hide. Source: Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University.

    Old Wives Tale: Make a 1″ line of chalk or baby powder (talcum) around the home, ants won’t cross it. Does it work? Many swear that it does.

    False Ant Killers
    ■Aspartame: Touted frequently online as originally being developed as an ant poison and an effective way to control carpenter ants. Snopes found this to be false, see: The World’s Best Ant Poison.
    ■Instant Grits & Exploding Ants: One popular online ant remedy recommended is to feed ants instant grits, instant oatmeal, cornmeal, cream of wheat or couscous. It’s suggested that ants will “explode” when the food would expand inside them as it comes in contact with stomach fluids. A study on the instant grits method and fire ants was done and found to be ineffective, here is the report: Laboratory Assay of Effect of Instant Grits and Malt-O-Meal for Imported Fire Ant Control. Also read the info below, it’s highly unlikely that the adult ants would even be able to eat the grits as they’re too large.

    Did you know: Ants carry solid food particles back to the nest to feed the colony’s larvae, the larvae then processes the food and turns it into a liquid to feed the adult ants. Adult ants can ingest very tiny, minuscule particles of food (larger pieces are filtered out), but their diet is from the liquid that the larvae provides.

    Controlling Ants vs Killing Them

    Think ants are pests? They may be if they’re taking over your home, but outside they’re very much needed. They aerate the soil, clean up scraps and seeds, control termite populations and they’re a food source for birds and other insects. As with all creatures, they play an important part in a healthy planet.

    If you prefer encouraging the ants to move elsewhere instead of killing them, make your home their last choice for foraging by using the above ant control methods and tips.

    • Wow … I hope that was a copy/paste and you didn’t type all that out. The homemade one I was speaking of earlier falls under that Sugar bait category. We have some black pepper that got dried up from the humidity here, so I might try that to see if it works.
      A lot of good information there. Thanks Winda.

  2. John, Dave Dewall ( posted a recipe for an ant killer that does not include any smelly aerosol and is quite effective. I remember my father making a similar mix when I was younger and it did the trick on both the ants and the roaches.

    • I’ll have to ask him about that and/or look it up on his site. Thanks John.
      It sent your comments to Spam. I guess it was the wording that caused it.

      • John we used a product called bygon the first one was made with oil base and smell bad,maybe the one you used but the best was bygon water base worked as good with no smell they also had a chalk that ants will not cross over they line you draw.

        • Yeah, the one we had was stinky alright. I’ll be careful which one I get next time, if I can’t find Dave’s formula for killing ants.

  3. Is one of your special ingredients like the Knorrs cubes or Ajimoto they add to everything? I notice that a lot of food in the Phils is prepared with MSG. I really have a low tolerance for it. I would think a lot of people have hypertension given amount of salt they consume.

    • If I don’t have the chicken, then yes I do use the Knorrs cube AND a little bit of Ajimoto. I always thought everyone here had hypertension, so we brought a blood pressure machine here to check things out. Turns out only 1 person had it, everyone else wasn’t even close. Even had 1 person with low blood pressure. The one person that has it, did not want to go to the doctor, but his wife forced him, and how he has it under control. But neither of those things are what Lita mixes in her special blend.

Texan in the Philippines