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Passion for perfection is a sharp double-edged sword. Akin to the tempering of iron to produce steel, the razor sharp edge should be paired with a strong sheath to protect against unintentional injuries.

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“The tongue is mightier than the blade.” ~Euripides


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I am becoming the monster that I have always tried to shun. In this world where reality governs everything, idealism will have to take frequent hits and accept certain concessions.

I may be coerced to do these concessions but I will never like it. And I hope I never will.

To the people that gets caught by the whiplash, my apologies. I accept that I may not be able shield you completely but I will try to soften the sting.

Not to be taken at face value


Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ~Mark Twain

Never ask a woman her age as that is considered as impolite. I can’t remember the first time I have heard that phrase but it provides a very convenient way for women to evade answering the dreaded question.

My manager celebrates her thirty-ish birthday today, and she says that she is proud of her age. Yeah right, which makes me wonder why she sometimes rounds off her birthday to the nearest tenth position. 🙂 In her defense, she does admit to her age after some time. She says only people afraid of looking their age are those who evade answering their true age, and she is “blessed” with a baby-face that does not show her real age.

At this point I am stumped as I hear the same thing from my wife. She asks me from time to time if she looks her age. My wife and I are already approaching the big three-oh, although age is a somewhat touchy subject for us since my wife is older than me by one or two years depending on the month that the subject is brought up. I don’t really care about the age difference (when you love somebody, you love them for who they are and not for anything else) but the impish side of me cannot let it pass to use it as a platform for launching a tirade of personal jokes. It usually gets me some bruises on my forceps but the smiles and laughters we share afterwards is all worth it. 🙂

Back to the topic of looking their age, how does one really gauge the standard of how each age bracket should look like? I am pretty bad with remembering faces more so with describing them so I am not very credible with this topic. However I am curious on what certain ages should really look like. I think I can distinguish the “bata” (kid) and “dalaga/binata” (adolescent) look fairly well. It would be easy to assume that once a person looks like they have lost that adolescent look then they are in their twenties. Wrinkles are usually associated with the forties although our polluted environment can pretty much speed up the arrival of wrinkles. White hair are usually attributed to people in their fifties, and the amount of white hair, or receding hairlines, are used to gauge people in their sixties and onward.

But what about the people in their between the age of 25 and 35? What distinguishing facial attributes can be used to say that they are in their thirties? I have been thinking about it and I cannot pin down a single quality that would be definitive in classifying a stranger into this mysterious age group. Most of the people who know me have been pegging me in the thirties group. Even our close friends usually mistake me as older than my wife. Does that mean that I am mature looking than my wife? The closest thing I can surmise with the thirties assumption is that I have already lost whatever, if any, boyish feature my face once possessed. Any attempts to rekindle that boyish aura ends up with me looking like a retardate. 😀 Only a handful people are close enough to see that side of me so I am pretty fine with looking like a retard from time to time.

To make the age-classification game harder, there is that abomination called makeup. I know some women who looks very different when they have nothing on their face that you would do a double-take when the difference hits you. It is a seldom occurrence wherein makeup would turn an ugly duckling into a swan but when it does I feel sad. I am sad because it means that the elation brought by the alteration is something that is not real and will fade away very soon. Makeup is something that I can’t really appreciate (not because I don’t use it and I am a man). Or maybe I have this idealistic standard for the people I know. I usually associate makeup with “fake”-ness especially if it is very noticeable (aka thick application). I always admire women who wear very minute or no makeup at all. Those women are confident and comfortable with how they look. If you have to resort to using artificial things to “enhance” your looks and “boost” your confidence level then there is something intrinsically wrong with your outlook in life. I feel an extra pity for those who wage a losing, and very expensive, battle with Father Time just to keep on holding on to their presumed youth. Give me an unpainted face anytime and I will spend the time to discern how the imperfections enhance their beauty, rather than giving me a mardi gras visage that I will think ways on unraveling what horrors lies beneath.

Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without. ~Confucius


Age-old riddle

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If a man says something in the woods and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?


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Currently experiencing a stonewall effect for something I said in a SMS message. The question is if I should be affected. If I am not, will it fuel the anger? Am I better off being affected?


Last week in a recap.

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To sum the previous week, I am going the phrase: WTF!

The main things for this week outside of work are gadget hell, crazy christmas cabaret, and microblogging.

Gadget Hell

Gadget hell is a phrase that I coined when every little gadget that have become part of your daily routine has developed a crazy penchant for causing grief.

First in the list is when Paquito (my PDA) started getting a sleep problem. Most of the time Paquito will shutdown on its own. This is more of an inconvenience since pushing the power button will start the little bugger and last until the duration of the use. I think I have narrowed the problem down to the fact that giving Paquito a shake will cause some shuffling in its innards. Now for more bad news, Harold had previously worked as a service engineer for HP and he said that they don’t repair IPaqs. It is all an all-or-nothing replacement deal. If they get a defective IPaq and its out of warranty then they would quote the customer for the price of a replacement. And no discount whatsoever. Bummer.

The main star of gadget hell week is Lala (my Fujitsu-Siemens laptop). I have been having some troubles with upgrading Lala (Linux system) to the latest Mandriva release which was documented blogged here and here. The inability to have wireless connection across the apartment is a major disadvantage so I decided to try installing other distributions. First on my shortlist of replacements is Arch Linux since this is the distro that I want to be familiar with. Unfortunately Arch has some problems with detecting the built-in network card which means its basically useless. Next was Ubuntu’s Gutsy Gibbon release. Everything went fine, and I was determined to try Gnome for a week to get familiar with it. I experienced some initial problems with the wifi configuration but figured/blundered out the settings after the first hour. Everything looks good and I was able to download most of the applications I normally use.

Then strikes Murphy’s law. Rebooting the laptop takes forever, on both Stu (Windows) and Lala (now Ubuntu). Stu is the one hit the most since doing anything will have a delay. Playing anything with audio is out since there is a noticeable stutter as if I am playing a scratched CD. This does not happen in Lala but the problem is that she freezes after a few minutes. I thought it has something to do with the power management settings so I set almost every action to nothing so any hibernate/suspend/shutdown command will have to be done manually but still I keep on coming back to a blacked-out laptop with blinking LEDs. Not a bad nor an encouraging sign. Ubuntu, for me, was a quick taste of heaven before plunging to (gadget) hell at breakneck speed. I need to somehow restore Stu from the image I made with partimage but Lala is at no condition to help. I had this idea to try another distro and the next I want to try is either PCLinuxOS or Mepis. Since PCLinux has initially been spawned off Mandrake, I figured Mepis will give me more education along the way. I downloaded it in Windows and got ArchLinux off the CDRW I used, then Murphy’s second law came into full effect! The image will not fit the media since it can only handle 650MB but the ISO is for 700MB media, and I don’t have any other blank CD to spare!

Swallowing my pride, I installed Mandriva 2008 again so I can restore Stu from the image I created last month. I also borrowed a laptop hard drive from Harold so I can isolate if the problem is already in the hardware level since having problems in both OS means that my issue lies somewhere deeper.

Mandriva came to the rescue. I was able to do a partimage restoration without any problems last Friday night. Ironically, Stu is now fine but Lala (in Mandriva suit) now manifests the shutdown hanging problem. I am currently lost what I would do with Lala. PCLinuxOs is also at 700MB so I am looking for something with core images at 650MB but user friendly enough that I won’t get shocked when I install it…

Crazy Christmas Cabaret

The Crazy Chrismas Cabaret (CCC) is a yearly Christmas presentation of the London Toast Theater. Most of the long-term assignees here in Denmark was able to watch last year’s CCC entitled “Bored of the Rings” which as you can guess is a loose parody of the Lord of the Rings. Lacking any real social event, the team decided to watch this year’s presentation which is entitled “Fogg’s off” which is loosely based on Jules Verne’s classic “Around the World in 80 days”.

We paid more than DKK200 for each ticket and we were seated on the right wing of the stage. The ticket is relatively cheap for a reason, there are angles in the stage that is blocked by the pillars holding the movable dome of the Glassalen theater. Anyway the show was very enjoyable, right from the segue introduction until the very end. There were some comedy skits that sounds old for Filipinos (“Seafood diet, when I see food I eat it”) and there were some joked that were targeted at the local elections that we couldn’t get. But all in all, the costumes and great use of the surroundings were more than enough to make up for the things we could not understand.

The best take away of the CCC for us is the line “… with a winning smile, but a losing face.” and the dance routine skits for the Egypt (Dance like an Egyptian) and Hong Kong (Kung Fu Fighting) stops of the travel. If given a chance I would definitely go to another Crazy Cabaret, and hopefully I would be able to take my wife with me. This is something that would be better watched than told.


I finally dipped into micro-blogging for these reasons:

  1. I really dont have time to do full blog posts every time.
  2. I needed a quick outlet for my frustrations either in work or in personal life.
  3. I needed something that would allow me to post quickly, precisely for the two previous reasons.

For these reasons, a micro-blog would be perfect. I immediately narrowed down my choices to either Pownce since I am a digg reader, and Twitter which started (at least brought to my attention) the micro-blogging concept. I was looking for something that would not require me to login to a full editor like what WordPress does. Pownce was still by invite only and I remembered reading about Google acquiring Jaiku so Jaiku became my second choice (I am a Google junkie at the deep core 😛 ). Unfortunately Jaiku is also by invite only as of this time, which I assume is strengthened by the Google-beta syndrome. I sighed and signed up for Twitter and everything looks fine. I posted a quick test and everything looks fine, so the next step is to figure out what are my options for posting. I was looking for something like sending my micro content via email. Twitter only presents two options: either via SMS or instant messaging. SMS is out since there is no Philippine provider and sending a message to a US number will kill my wallet. Instant messaging is the logical solution and I got redirected to which is a nifty site for gluing web services to the messaging framework. I “signed-up” with imified and started to add the widget for my Twitter account. In this area I got another setback since the Twitter widget is not working and I read that Twitter just changed their API. I noticed that Tumblr was in the list and remembered Ian Dexter posted something about it (which I discovered was Tumblog and not Tumblr). I signed up with Tumblr and here is the current result.

Ramfree17 out.


Work Hierarchy

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Testing < Documentation < Requirement Analysis < Programming < Infrastructure Troubleshooting < R&D


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Congratulations to Kahlua who, based on our conversation, got promoted out of the doghouse and into their home. 😛


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A wish is what you want but you know you have a small chance of possessing.

A dream is what you want that you don’t know how to start achieving.

A fantasy is what you want that you know you will never get.

Boredom of ramfree17

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Boredom of ramfree17

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