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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Well, My Wife Liked It (Kate Middleton)

My wife and I are in Fully Booked quite often.  It’s kind of a default destination for us whenever we have nothing specific to do and we just need to get out of the house.  We browse around for an hour or so, taking note of the books we like before finally choosing from among them and heading for the counter.

During one such trip a couple of weeks ago, my wife came up to the counter with a basketfull of chick lit.  I, on the other hand, just had two or three books cradled in my arm.  I told her that it was a bit too much since we’d be back in a couple of days anyway.  But, no, she said that she chose all of the books so that she doesn’t have to buy any book for a few weeks.  I relented, but it was too late.  My wife’s credit card had already been swiped by the evil saleslady.  (Note to self:  cancel wife’s extension cards)

It’s been a couple of weeks.  I’ve already burned through the books I bought and have begun re-reading back issues of my car magazines.  I was getting bored and all I could see was this pile of chick lit on my wife’s bedside table.  It was too late in the evening to get a snack and the iPad was taken hostage by the kids.  So, without really thinking about it, I rolled over to the other side of the bed and got the book on top of the pile.

Big Mistake.

It was a book entitled “Kate”, subtitled “Kate Middleton: Princess in Waiting”, written by Claudia Joseph and it was an excruciating read.  The first eleven chapters were about Kate Middleton’s paternal and maternal ancestors and how most of them lived and died as mine workers.  It was sad…  Really…  And boring.  The chapters about Kate Middleton herself began in primary school and there was nothing there.

So, I muddled through a few more chapters until I got to the point where she became the flat mate of the prince.  At this point you’d think, “Ah!  Now for the good part.”  You’d expect sex, drugs and other unspeakable acts, but, like the rest of the book, there was nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.

It would have been nice if the author wrote about how the Middletons built their party planning business called Party Pieces or included more photographs of the other people mentioned so often in this book, but, I guess Claudia Joseph wrote the book for a very specific audience and never really expected it to sell beyond the shores of England.

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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Analog Down Time (Ion Audio)

It’s 9pm on a tuesday and my mind is still racing from all the sensory inputs the day had to throw at me.  I’m trying to relax, but I still have one last thing on my to-do list.  With wife in tow, I drive over to my sister-in-law’s pad to brainstorm for creative ideas.

After about half an hour, we’ve gone nowhere.  In fact, I’ve resorted to scrounging around her half-empty refrigerator just to have something else to think about.  With no new ideas and a fruit roll-up in hand, I plop down on the couch and decided to put on some tunes.

Walking over to her audio cabinet, I am greeted by this non-descript TTUSB10 Turntable from Ion Audio.  Its actually a hybrid since it comes with software that allows the owner to record the analog audio output into an Mp3 file.  The result?  Analog sound from a digital player.  Cool.  I flip through her collection of vintage vinyl, little by little getting hypnotized by the slapping of each record against the other.  Choice made, I gingerly slip out the vinyl record from its protective cover.  It’s been 25 years or so since I’ve actually touched a record so I take my time to appreciate the weight of the vinyl and the grooves carved into it.  At this point, I’m already smiling.

WARNING!  What comes next is a ritual known only to audiophiles and may not be suitable for those born in the digital age.

I flick the power switch to on.  Carefully lay the record on the platter.  Set the speed to 33rpm.  Press the start button to begin the rotation of the platter then move the arm to ever so delicately place the stylus on the vinyl.  For a moment or two, nothing except a barely audible hiss comes out from the speakers.  Then, the stylus is caught in the groove and the sweet, smooth, mellow sound of an analog recording wafts around the room and slowly envelops me in its warm tones.

Just the memory of the experience makes me want to sit back on the couch, prop my feet up on some pillows and ride the feeling.  Good Vibes.

 

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Convention Loot (VMV Hypoallergenics)

Medical conventions are usually staid affairs teeming with stuck-up old men or crusty old women.  If there are any young doctors, you’d see them shifting in their seats, thinking of heading out to the hotel pool or the adjacent golf course.

It’s not a vacation for their family members either as those who are brought along find themselves hanging out in the room or in the pool area waiting for hours for their respective spouses/parents.

Not this guy.  No, sir.  I’ve had my share of conventions and I’ve loved every single one of them.

You see, my wife is a dermatologist and the way conventions go, their annual medical convention is husband nirvana.  While my wife is dutifully listening to the latest scientific updates from speakers who come from all over the world, I am sitting amidst the numerous corporate displays taking advantage of the excellent foot massage while enjoying my chai tea latte and keeping an eye out for freebies.  Yes, freebies.  And I’m not talking about boxes of anti-biotics.

Walking around the vendors’ area where the corporate displays are is like walking around the cosmetics and skin/body care floor of a high-end retailer.  They have the latest and about to be launched products on display.  The best part is…  You guessed it.  Freebies!  Most, if not all, of these companies give out samples of their best-selling or most expensive products.  And, they’re quite generous about it.  There was one year where we were able to get enough free soap that we didn’t have to shop for that item for six months!  This year, I hit pay-dirt again with a number of freebies from VMV Hypoallergenics called Grandma Minnie’s The Big, Brave Boo Boo Balm; Grandma Minnie’s Coo & Clean Baby Wash and their Armada Baby 50+.

My kids love the water which means we’re at the beach club every month.  It’s a lot of fun, but being kids, it also means that they are out playing in the sun for hours, their skin gets the occasional scratch and it takes a lot of soap to clean away the salt water residue.  With a formulation specially made for ultra-sensitive skin, this trio of skin care products is the answer to our concerns.  The sun block is protective enough but not as sticky as other brands, the balm helped soothe a couple of scratches (mine included), and the baby wash made my kids smell clean and fresh without any powerful odors.

I’m definitely looking forward to what they have to offer during the next convention.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Hooligan (BMW)

It was a rainy saturday morning.  I had just dropped-off my wife at her appointment and told her that I would take a quick trip to the local car show.  Of course, knowing how obsessed I am with cars, she thought I was making a joke, gave a gentle laugh, and waved me off.

As I merrily drove along the wet roads, I thought about how the timing could not be better.  Because of the monsoon rains and the fact that I would be arriving at such an odd hour, it meant that parking would not be a problem, the crowd would be thin and I could linger around each display as long as I like.  When I got there, it was as I thought it would be…  A slice of motoring heaven.

Inside the exhibition hall the automotive works of art were gleaming in the light.  It was an amazing sight.  Standing by the entrance, I surveyed the layout of the show and decided that the best route was to go in a counter-clockwise direction before slicing across each of the aisles (there is a method to fully appreciate these annual exhibits).

My decision to take the route was immediately rewarded by the presence of this silver 1974 BMW 2002 Turbo (Please pardon the electrical cables.  There was a bikini clad model standing there but she was blocking the car so I asked her to move).  It is beautiful.  Yes, there were more exotic and rarer cars on display such as an angry 1976 Lancia Stratos, a very sublime 1956 Mercedes Benz 300 SL “Gullwing”, an extremely elegant 1966 Ferrari 330 GT, a rare 1967 Toyota 2000 GT, and a playful Porsche 356C.  But, for some reason, it was the BMW that I was drawn to.

This car is cool.  The silver paintwork is immaculate.  The BBS wheel and tire combo nestled inside the fender flares gives off such a macho vibe.  The black leather interior is well-made and the livery gives the car that extra dash of color.  It is like a bespoke, slim cut, Paul Smith suit.  I imagine myself in the car, driving at a reasonably quick clip, up and down the winding back roads of Subic.  Or, if I want to be a hooligan about it, blasting full-throttle down McKinley Road at 2am and having so much fun that I turn around and have a go in the other direction.

I want to own this car so much that it makes my insides hurt.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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