Monday, January 29, 2007

Food dilemma

Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma was named one of the best books of 2006. Finding a copy so soon after publication in our literary backwater is a test of patience. I have reserved copies in A Different Bookstore and Fully Booked (along with ten other books, some of them I'm just waiting till they get to paperback since I don't need to spend, need vs want, but that's another long segue).

The book delves into man's relationship with food, and how the process of simplification and chemical synthesis has changed how people eat. From the reviews and summary, I see this as this year's Fast Food Nation, a book that will change your view of eating a burger forever.

Mr. Pollan recently wrote an article for the New York Times, which shortens the need to buy his book, or concurrently makes me really want to get my hands on it. Here are a few tidbits from the article:

"Scientists operating with the best of intentions, using the best tools at their disposal, have taught us to look at food in a way that has diminished our pleasure in eating it while doing little or nothing to improve our health. Perhaps what we need now is a broader, less reductive view of what food is, one that is at once more ecological and cultural. What would happen, for example, if we were to start thinking about food as less of a thing and more of a relationship?"

"...the typical real food has more trouble competing under the rules of nutritionism, if only because something like a banana or an avocado can’t easily change its nutritional stripes (though rest assured the genetic engineers are hard at work on the problem). So far, at least, you can’t put oat bran in a banana. So depending on the reigning nutritional orthodoxy, the avocado might be either a high-fat food to be avoided (Old Think) or a food high in monounsaturated fat to be embraced (New Think). The fate of each whole food rises and falls with every change in the nutritional weather, while the processed foods are simply reformulated. That’s why when the Atkins mania hit the food industry, bread and pasta were given a quick redesign (dialing back the carbs; boosting the protein), while the poor unreconstructed potatoes and carrots were left out in the cold.

"Of course it’s also a lot easier to slap a health claim on a box of sugary cereal than on a potato or carrot, with the perverse result that the most healthful foods in the supermarket sit there quietly in the produce section, silent as stroke victims, while a few aisles over, the Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms are screaming about their newfound whole-grain goodness."

"Simplification has occurred at the level of species diversity, too. The astounding variety of foods on offer in the modern supermarket obscures the fact that the actual number of species in the modern diet is shrinking. For reasons of economics, the food industry prefers to tease its myriad processed offerings from a tiny group of plant species, corn and soybeans chief among them. Today, a mere four crops account for two-thirds of the calories humans eat. When you consider that humankind has historically consumed some 80,000 edible species, and that 3,000 of these have been in widespread use, this represents a radical simplification of the food web. Why should this matter? Because humans are omnivores, requiring somewhere between 50 and 100 different chemical compounds and elements to be healthy. It’s hard to believe that we can get everything we need from a diet consisting largely of processed corn, soybeans, wheat and rice."

And here are his dictums for a healthier life:

"1. Eat food. Don’t eat anything your great-great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many foodlike items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food (Go-Gurt? Breakfast-cereal bars? Nondairy creamer?); stay away from these.

"2. Avoid food products bearing health claims. They’re apt to be heavily processed, and the claims are often dubious at best. Don’t forget that margarine, one of the first industrial foods to claim that it was more healthful than the traditional food it replaced, turned out to give people heart attacks. Don’t take the silence of the yams as a sign that they have nothing valuable to say about health.

"3. Especially avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable c) more than five in number — or that contain high-fructose corn syrup.None of these characteristics are necessarily harmful in and of themselves, but all of them are reliable markers for foods that have been highly processed.

"4. Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. You won’t find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmer’s market; you also won’t find food harvested long ago and far away. What you will find are fresh whole foods picked at the peak of nutritional quality. Precisely the kind of food your great-great-grandmother would have recognized as food.

"5. Pay more, eat less. ...those of us who can afford to eat well should. Paying more for food well grown in good soils — whether certified organic or not — will contribute not only to your health (by reducing exposure to pesticides) but also to the health of others who might not themselves be able to afford that sort of food: the people who grow it and the people who live downstream, and downwind, of the farms where it is grown.

“Eat less” is the most unwelcome advice of all, but in fact the scientific case for eating a lot less than we currently do is compelling. “Calorie restriction” has repeatedly been shown to slow aging in animals, and many researchers believe it offers the single strongest link between diet and cancer prevention. Food abundance is a problem, but culture has helped here, too, by promoting the idea of moderation. Once one of the longest-lived people on earth, the Okinawans practiced a principle they called “Hara Hachi Bu”: eat until you are 80 percent full. To make the “eat less” message a bit more palatable, consider that quality may have a bearing on quantity: I don’t know about you, but the better the quality of the food I eat, the less of it I need to feel satisfied. All tomatoes are not created equal.

"6. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves. Scientists may disagree on what’s so good about plants — the antioxidants? Fiber? Omega-3s? — but they do agree that they’re probably really good for you and certainly can’t hurt. Also, by eating a plant-based diet, you’ll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods (except seeds) are typically less “energy dense” than the other things you might eat. Vegetarians are healthier than carnivores, but near vegetarians (“flexitarians”) are as healthy as vegetarians. Thomas Jefferson was on to something when he advised treating meat more as a flavoring than a food.

"7. Eat more like the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks. Confounding factors aside, people who eat according to the rules of a traditional food culture are generally healthier than we are. Any traditional diet will do: if it weren’t a healthy diet, the people who follow it wouldn’t still be around. True, food cultures are embedded in societies and economies and ecologies, and some of them travel better than others: Inuit not so well as Italian. In borrowing from a food culture, pay attention to how a culture eats, as well as to what it eats. In the case of the French paradox, it may not be the dietary nutrients that keep the French healthy (lots of saturated fat and alcohol?!) so much as the dietary habits: small portions, no seconds or snacking, communal meals — and the serious pleasure taken in eating. (Worrying about diet can’t possibly be good for you.) Let culture be your guide, not science.

"8. Cook. And if you can, plant a garden. To take part in the intricate and endlessly interesting processes of providing for our sustenance is the surest way to escape the culture of fast food and the values implicit in it: that food should be cheap and easy; that food is fuel and not communion. The culture of the kitchen, as embodied in those enduring traditions we call cuisines, contains more wisdom about diet and health than you are apt to find in any nutrition journal or journalism. Plus, the food you grow yourself contributes to your health long before you sit down to eat it. So you might want to think about putting down this article now and picking up a spatula or hoe.

"9. Eat like an omnivore. Try to add new species, not just new foods, to your diet. The greater the diversity of species you eat, the more likely you are to cover all your nutritional bases. That of course is an argument from nutritionism, but there is a better one, one that takes a broader view of “health.” Biodiversity in the diet means less monoculture in the fields. What does that have to do with your health? Everything. The vast monocultures that now feed us require tremendous amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to keep from collapsing. Diversifying those fields will mean fewer chemicals, healthier soils, healthier plants and animals and, in turn, healthier people. It’s all connected, which is another way of saying that your health isn’t bordered by your body and that what’s good for the soil is probably good for you, too."

Thursday, January 25, 2007

QE 1/2

3 of the best actress/supporting actress nods this year are linked by royal blood.

* Judy Dench played Queen Elizabeth 1 (and won a best supporting oscar) and Queen Victoria (nomination)

* Helen Mirren has been nominated for best actress for portraying Queen Elizabeth 2. She's won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her role as QE1 in the mini-series Elizabeth

* Cate Blanchett was nominated (she wuz robbed by Gwynnie in her pink prom dress!) for playing QE1 (same year that Judi Dench won for playing an older version of the Queen)

My friend M and I have an annual bet on who will win at the Oscars. If the movie she picks wins, I will take her to dinner at an Italian restaurant. If I win, she takes me to dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant. The hardest part is sometimes matching the restaurant to an element in the movie choice.

Reading in January

Finished reading:
Thieflord by Cornelia Funke
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Still reading:
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The Good German by Joseph Kanon
Year at the Races by Jane Smiley (started Dec 2006)

Just started:
Death and Judgement by Donna Leon

Twilight took less than two evening reads to get through, a fast paced book, while I end up falling asleep while reading the Good German (could have used a better editor in my view). I dip into Lighthouse on and off to allow her poetic prose to sink in better. Good thing VW writes thin books.
I enjoyed passages of Inheritance of Loss, not as weighty or emotionally draining as A Fine Balance or A Suitable Boy. Indian writers have the best of both worlds: their strong literary history, and the angst of their colonial past which still flavors their contemporary literature.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Lunchroom chatter

Settling in at a new job, one of the big changes is finding a time and place to have one's lunch, plus meeting new colleagues over a meal is one way of getting to know them better. Will they be nice and let you sit with them? Will they be interesting conversationalists? Will they be the Calvin to your Susie and make you want to call Ms. Wormwood to complain of gross behaviour?

So far, my new lunchmates have been very amiable, well-read, and I look forward to sitting in the lounge, sharing food with them. It's a variable crowd but a few of us tend to have lunch at a certain time. There's an earlier lunch crowd that talks mostly about their charges (elementary kids) and what cute/annoying/frustrating things they've said that day. Another group are all trying to get pregnant, or likewise deal with impending pregnancies. Those that tend to eat a little later in the lunch break are a mixed bunch. Married, single, straight, gay. And we've covered a lot of different topics. Movies and tv shows, history, science, educational theory, sex ed (an upcoming topic later in the year for the students), language.

Recently, one rather interesting discussion revolved around books for older kids. One of the teachers has an ongoing reading session and they've delved into sci-fi and fantasy novels. The other teachers began listing all their favorites of the genre, and I got a few recommendations. The first that I'll be trying out is Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. And the other is Here Lie Dragons (author's name eludes me).

One suggestion I threw out to the group which elicited an interesting range of responses was the Phillip Pullman Golden Compass trilogy. One teacher likewise enjoyed the books, the other two hadn't read it yet. When we explained that there was a strong anti-religious bent to the book, one teacher immediately said that she'd never encourage her own sons to read it, while the other teacher asked for more details. The former's response was quite striking since I hadn't expected such a conservative reaction from her. Note to self, never raise religion when recommending a book.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Healthy Options, Shangrila Plaza

Last Friday, I stopped at the Shangrila Plaza, just to spend a few hours away from traffic and see what's new in the shops. While I had plans to check out the sales for a new pair of pants, I ended up beguiled by the new set up of Healthy Options in the mall. They've added freezer space and expanded their selection of frozen vegetables and microwaveable meals. It didn't take me too long to choose what I wanted, EDAMAME! I love them, like green peanuts, and so healthy (a half cup has 4 grams of fiber, high in protein, and low in calories). The store has several options: half a kilo of shelled soy beans, half a kilo of unshelled soy beans, and several varieties mixed with vegetables. I took a bag of the shelled and unshelled. The bags cost P212 each, a little more than what you'd pay in Japanese groceries where a half kilo of edamame costs P160.

Along with the soy beans, I picked up a bag of ground flax seed, tahini, and a bar of Dagoba organic dark chocolate. The store is still under renovation, so expect a larger stage for healthy food products soon.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday all askew

Since I saw the notice on a group email, I had planned to go watch "Cavite" at the Filipino Indie movie festival at Robinson's Galleria today (Sunday, 1:30 p.m). My friend E also wanted to go watch it, so we met up for lunch bright and early and waited for the time to line up at the box office. We were met with disappointment. No Cavite, as the organizers changed the line up (Big Time was showing in its place). According to the revised schedule, Cavite would be shown on Jan 30 (Tuesday) at 11 a.m. Bummer. The only things I take leave from work are the Oscars and an extended holiday overseas. This is the second time I had planned to see the film and was waylaid by fate.

This left E and I with too much time on our hands, so we headed into Makati. E showed me the Palmpilot he wants to get and I promised to check if my old (but never used) palm is still in storage somewhere. He could probably use that instead of buying a brand new model. I then did the first of 3 bookstore stops of the day, as well as having a consolation slice of cake with hot chocolate.

One of the bookstores not only induced me to buy a book, but I also ran into someone who rattled my sense of composure. Some people in one's past do that. I nearly didn't want to acknowledge seeing him, but in the end, I chose to chat awhile. Knowing it could raise a whole volley of dietary lectures, I didn't tell him that I was carrying frozen edamame (the man thinks soy is bad for the health). He looked good though. And even now, as I type this in, I need to shake myself of that sense of recent history. As he said "Manila is such a small town," so true, so true.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Keeping watch

Friends have left for a new overseas post, and until they are settled, I'm taking care of their pets, two tabbies. Brought them home last Wednesday and true to feline form, they've gone into hiding, one under the shoe rack, the other tries to fit into any furniture big enough to cover him (he's way too heavy). My cat has been sniffing at them and their furniture (cat beds, carriers, bowls, and other accoutrements), but anytime she attempts to get close, they start hissing at each other. Not a good state of affairs. But normal. They'll only be at my place for a month, so I hope to get them off to their new country of residence by early March.

One of yesterday's popular online photos was the picture of 20 lb cat, grey american shorthair tabby, who truly looked ginormous and unhealthy. He had been found stuck in the petdoor of a neighbor, he is suspected of having eaten other kibbles of the pets around the neighborhood. I've recently met other cat owners who also have obese kitties. While they look cute and cuddly, I fear for their health. Cats are meant to be sleek, well oiled machines so to speak. When they take on too much weight, they look clumsy and incapable of their acrobatic feats. So Tigger is going to be on a one month diet while he's with me, probably self-enforced until he realizes he can eat 3 bowls (his, his sister's, and my cat's) in a day. I just hope his sister doesn't will herself into an anorexic mode because of her short term seperation from her owners.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ode to Ananas

Oh banana, you come so yellow, green, mottled with specks
You are chipped, dipped, whipped, or mushed
How sweet you are made into a snack
Slathered with pj or nutella or cheese
Eaten with adobo and rice
Or menudo!

I baked you, snack on your chips
But I like you best raw, stripped of your yellow sleeve.
May you live long and prosper. Nanu nanu

Thursday, January 11, 2007


For lunch, I met up with friends in a small ... dinnerette. How do you describe a place that is not quite a hole in the wall, not quite a bistro, that services a primarily business clientele in the Salcedo Village area for lunch, while the dinner crowd tends towards those avoiding traffic and the neighborhood "ethnics"?

Sinbad is that kind of place. Serves Middle eastern/indian ethnic food, has enough space for 25 to 30 people (the latter would be quite snug), and decorated with that relatively kitschy interior (a knockoff heiroglyphic wall hanging, alongside Bollywood music) sensibility. An upscale canteen perhaps is the best short description for it. And it serves the frugal hordes well, with waiters providing decent service (no mess ups with the drinks and food delivery, plus they took our comments re: the baba ghanoush in good stead). I caught sight of a female chef in the kitchen, and a Sikh eating heartily, while another Middle Eastern couple were sampling the small dishes of hummus and fatoush.

Our group of four had two kebabs (beef and lamb), a chicken tandoori set, and a madras beef stew, and the order of baba (made fresh, but too much lemon tarted it up.). Sinbad uses Australian cuts of beef and lamb; I found the lamb to be decent, not as tender as I normally prefer, but it was a decent kebab. E ordered the chicken and rated it well, saying the chicken breast was tender. C chose the beef stew, and liked the "unspicyness" of it. Hmmmm, oh well.

We all spent an average of P160 for food (no one was in the mood to add drinks, so tack on another P40 for drinks). A nice little lunch neighborhood place for those in the Salcedo area.

Sinbad is along San Agustin St, near the corner of Valero and Rufino/Herrera.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Momofuku Anda, inventor of instant noodles, died at the age of 96 last Friday. Mr. Anda's invention changed the landscape of college students' diets, not to mention new graduates who couldn't afford to pay their rent, or even feed themselves properly.

I gave up on instant noodles in 1995, the memory is quite distinct. I was on a train in China, and the smell of the oil they use in the instant noodle mix hung heavily over the inside compartment. Nausea. Never ate another instant noodle pack again.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good, ... please don't let me be misunderstood

Am listening to Nina Simone sing this song (title of the post), and it reflects some emotions I had over the weekend. Dealing with friends or family, one has to navigate some emotional landmines, and sometimes the best road to take is to avoid butting heads when a problem comes up. It might be a form of Asian non-confrontational manners; or it could be laziness. Shouldn't we sit someone down when they're being hypocrites? Take friend A, who was hosting a party for friends of ours. He specified that he only wanted core groupmates, and no new faces. Earlier in the week we reviewed the list and set it at 14 friends. On Thursday he texts in the final list, slipping in the name of someone completely new. I take this matter up with A, and he defends himself by saying that he didn't know how the fellow heard about the party, and that he'd just tell him that that dinner was cancelled. Given that the new guy was A's friend, who else would have invited him? If it was going to be a free for all, and just invite anyone, then A was taking advantage of his own rules for someone he considered a friend, not one of our core mates. He probably got annoyed at me for this, but I seriously wanted to take him to task for being so two-faced. Instead, I didn't raise it any further once the fellow was dropped from the guest list. But this is not the first time A has taken liberties, and usually with his own rules, paradigms. He plays the diva, but demands our understanding when he's being temperamental. I've lost patience in the past. But have never forced him to face his own duplicity. I sometimes wonder if I'm not doing him a disservice by staying silent.

Another friend B, has also been vexing of late. I've asked to meet him a few times to pass on his Christmas present. But he keeps coming up with excuses, and I've decided not to raise the issue anymore. I noticed that everytime I try to provide a gift (birthday, xmas) he finds excuses not to accept it. As he's one of the few people I tried to find an appropriate gift for, I find his rebuffs insulting, and raises the question of whether I want to spend time with someone like that. I value friendship a great deal. But if someone isn't keen, it's easy enough to take a hint and avoid further interaction.

Perhaps these are the reasons I have a crick in my neck. Physical manifestation of emotional stress. Or I just need better pillows.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2006 in restaurants

Over a bowl of beef noodle soup at Pho Hoa last night, I started jotting down as many of the restaurants I had visited in 2006. There's no particular order, but simply the ones I remember. The list may change as I work my grey cells further to recall what I did during the year.

In the Philippines:
Caruso along N. Garcia
Grappas (GB3 and N. Garcia)
Soms (Rockwell branch)
Gumbo (MOA)
Breakfast at Antonio's
Antonio's Grill (the one along the ridge road, although I can't be sure of the name of the restaurant)
Lemuria (Horseshoe Village, QC)
Kai (GB2)
Uva (GB2)
Hue (GB3)
La Vigne (Yakal St)
Chef Laudico's Urdaneta Home/restaurant
Lolo Mao's (Podium)
Terry's (Podium, Pasong Tamo Ext)
Cantinetti (Pasong Tamo Ext)
Galileo Enoteca (Mandaluyong)
Gourdo's (Fort Bonifacio)
Trio (Fort Bonifacio)
Little Asia (Promenade, Greenhills)
Bizu (GB3 and Promenade)
Kikofuji (and a neighboring japanese noodle restaurant in Little Tokyo)
Amici (Pasay Road)
Cava (Makati Avenue)
Schwartzwalder (Makati Avenue)
Old Spaghetti House (Valero St)
Tsukuya (I have to double check that this is the name of the restaurant, but it's near the Paseo Center along Valero St, Salcedo Village)
Cafe Juanita (Bgy Kapitolyo)
Mati (Rockwell)
Bohdi (Ortigas Avenue)
Fez (Serendra)
Hap Chan (Makati Ave, Market Market)
Guava (Serendra)
Sala (Malate)
Lumiere (Makati Avenue)
Max Brenner (GB3)
People's Palace (GB3)
Kusina Salud (Quezon Province, in the height of rambutan season)
Manos (the greek taverna in Tagaytay, name could be wrong, but it's not hard to find)
* add to the list, innumerable visits to UCC, Pancake House, Cibo's, Mandarin Deli (in Cubao), Coffee Bean, Starbucks, McDonalds, Shakeys, Yellow Cab, Jollibee, innumerable chicken inasal places, Pho Hoa/Bac, Max, Aristocrat, Gram's Diner, Sugarhouse, Pazzo, Cafe Mediterranean, Mexicali, Hen Lin, all the food outlets in RCBC, Brother's Burger, North Park, Gloria Maris (which has become my family's Sunday hangout for some unknown reason - I suspect it's my sister's kids who force the issue), Dulcinea, the cafe in Powerbooks, the Press cafe at Fully Booked Rockwell, Figaros, Via Mare, Deli France, ....

Around the country, I've gone to restaurants in Cebu, Batangas, Puerto Princessa. Unfortunately, I can't remember most of the names! In PP, we always go to a favorite Vietnamese canteen, and another garden restaurant (Ka Louie!) where the food goes well with the friendly service and lovely interiors. In Cebu, friends took us to a great (and cheap) grill where we ate tons of food freshly grilled to our specifications. A lot of new restaurants in Cebu opened up recently, but the only ones I've gone to are the Thai restaurants. Along Batangas, it's been bulalo places and franchises of places you'd find in Manila, as well as road side cafes/canteens, plus dinners at friends' homes.

In N. America, I was in Montreal, Quebec, and San Francisco/Sacramento this year. I distinctly remember the dinner at Europea (Montreal), and I had good Vietnamese food with friends there, bistros in the city where we ate c/o sponsors of the conference. I'm trying to find the name of the diner near the hotel we stayed in that had great smoked meat sandwiches. And the famous Montreal bagels in the old Jewish quarter. We only had time for a quick lunch in Quebec, so the restaurant's name eludes me. While in SF and Sac, I was going for comfort food (Olivetti's, Bittersweet, a nice garden/cafe in Sac), and home cooked meals by my wonderful bro-in-law who makes the best smoked salmon! That reminds me how we went all the way to the only Pinoy canteen near Roseville to buy crispy pata for Greg. Wasn't that crispy, but his golf buddies were wowed by the sight. Trina also brought me to her favorite breakfast place near the airport, around the Burlington district. Those were amazing pancakes.

Right before the end of the year, I was in HK, where S and I took new-to-Asia friend A out for Hong Kong dimsum (City Hall), a dai pai dong in Sheung Wan, vegetarian food at the temple in Lantau, the Peak Lookout restaurant, a dessert hole in the wall near Carnarvon (TST), and of course home cooked risotto, bottles of champagne, a box of chocolate covered potato chips, and panetonne.

In retrospect, that was way too much money spent eating out in 2006!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Reading list

The last time I set myself a reading task for a new year's resolution was in 1999, when I read through as many female American or British writers as I could find. Most of them were 19th century writers; I went through the entire oeuvre of Austen, Wharton, two of the Bronte sisters, Gaskell, Woolf, Eliot, Mansfield, Plath, and a host of Victorian writers who I can't remember anymore. There were dips into fairy tales and children's tales, to ease my brain fever (especially after Wharton, who could depress anyone with a short story), and a few folks I did choose to skip (I didn't read Frankenstein for instance). Poetry was hit and miss. Find myself relating to more male poets anyway, with the cleaner prose and the sometimes subtle messages.
Since then, I haven't given myself any literary tasks to overcome. I did purchase the new War and Peace translation with the intent of doing a chapter by chapter comparison with the older translations. Thus far, I've been reading a chapter every other week and it's taking forever. Enjoyable leisure.

Instead of making it a chore to read, what I know I should try to do is list down the books I have read and make some general points of what I enjoyed. Take note of a couple of quotes, what I think of the plot etc.

Am currently reading: The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, The Inheritance of Loss by K. Desai, The Good German by Joseph Kanon, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, and The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I also have waiting in line the first three books by Cornelia Funke. Which I had planned to give away to kids, but got to read them before dispensing!

The last book I read for 2006 was The Death of Achilles by Boris Akunin, a translation of a mystery by a contemporary Russian author. Charming piece, russian books are only as difficult as trying to track down who the characters are, as their names do tend to change depending on who is attending to them.

First test of patience

Primary gift to self was an mp3 player and a laptop. However, the Taiwan earthquake forces me to wait till after they've fixed the cable connection laid down along the Pacific fault lines, in order to download the necessary software; can't set up the mp3 player without the software, and the connection to that is wobbly at best these days. It may take a few more weeks before the connection works out, and even then I'd have to wait it out till I can get the best connection to my home account, as I'll be forced to get a DSL line if the wifi and cable folks can't get their act together. As much as I'd like to avoid getting a landline in my townhouse, it looks like I may have to since the cable folks aren't doing anything to help me get broadband, while the wifi connection is rather weak.

This isn't like in the old days when all you needed was a battery to get things going. The more complicated a toy is, the more likely it will be that it needs a few odds and ends to get it started and working properly.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


too much fireworks fake dvds no exercise friends family up in baguio lots of cheese wow chocolate puddings and truffles slow internet taiwan indonesia thailand hit hard by earthquakes floods airline crash bombs new toys work sigh dogs not in for a good year in the pig year patience more patience no barking less sweets less sugar less white food all we need is love investments savings lie low work hard resolutions not to self destruct all i have is my health less debt in the new year thank goodness go see a doctor have a healthcheck soon make better decisions concerning health read more spend less on frivolous pursuits be good to the cat don't worry about the messy days weeks months get rid of stuff minimize think listen breathe.

Pike Market Peonies

Pike Market Peonies