MY NEW BLOG: The Ciudadista: Life in the City

Monday, January 31, 2005

Don't you hate it when you receive hoax and chain e-mails?

I cannot understand why people are so dumb despite earning tertiary qualifications and years of schooling. I am referring to dumb and gullible people who just forward or post every hoax and chain e-mail or text message they receive on their inboxes. I am sure I am not alone.

They are also cowards as they are afraid to use their logic and commonsense in analysing the content of hoax and chain e-mails before they hit the forward button.

They are also irresponsible as they do not care of any adverse effects to communities or industries of their e-mail forwarding. For example, the hoax "Zulican" virus e-mail and text message that is claimed to be infecting seafood in Asia due to the tsunami disaster has spread faster than influenza. Little do these people know that forwarding such messages only destroy the lives of those dependent on the seafood industry.

How many times do we have to explain to them that they won't get rich, die lonely and single or not be infected by flesh eating bacteria just by forwarding e-mail!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Despite Telecom's efforts Vodafone has more customers

Vodafone adds 74,000 in fourth quarter

In the latest subscriber numbers released by GSM operator Vodafone New Zealand. The Kiwi arm of Vodafone plc has gained 74,000 more subscribers. (Seventy nine percent of Vodafone subscribers are prepay.)

This is a surprise despite CDMA operator Telecom New Zealand's efforts to get more subscribers from Vodafone. Last year, the 027 network offered NZD 10.00 unlimited national and international person to person texting. A few months later the offer was modified to 500 national person to person texting for NZD 10.00 guaranteed until the end of next year.

As for me I will be sticking with Vodafone as it is the only network that lets me send text messages to family and friends in the Philippines and around the world. CDMA phones are also useless in countries where GSM networks only exist.

TelstraClear Homeplan

TelstraClear is the alternative telephone company in New Zealand. It is a far second from the dominant Telecom New Zealand (much like PLDT in the Philippines). It is the New Zealand subsidiary of Telstra, Australia's biggest telecommunications firm.

Before, TelstraClear land line and cable tv services (Saturn TV) are limited to Wellington, the Kapiti Coast and Christchurch where it has built its own network. Since November last year it can now serve almost everyone in New Zealand. It can do this by leasing the local phone network of Telecom New Zealand. This new service is called Homeplan.

Starting from NZD 39.85 (PHP 1582.00) for line rental, local calling and white pages listing. The incentive of joining this service is that the more toll calls you make the lesser the phone line rental gets. For example, toll calls from NZD 20.00 to 39.99 attract a NZD 5.00 discount on line rental. Toll calls worth more than NZD 200.00 attract free line rental.

The jury is still out whether this scheme will make Telecom customers switch to TelstraClear. It should be noted that Telecom through its Australian subsidiary AAPT has a similar land line rental service.

The De Soto Delusion?

The De Soto Delusion

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera

I have seen this movie exactly last week. I have never read the book or seen the stage musical but I think this movie is beautiful. It is not as great as Moulin Rouge but it is a close second.

My favourite scene was the "Masquerade" number.

Minnie Driver who played Carlotta was superb. Her performance was the best.

Miranda Richardson portrayal of Madame Giry was notable too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

where is my blog archive?

I don't know what went or but I can't find this blog's archive links on the main page.

Sorry for any inconvenience to my blog readers.

new year new job

Its a prayer answered. I never thought I will find a new job.

I have started training for a new job. All the new information about organisational and client policies is finding a way to stick into my mind.

After ten days of intense training I'll be dealing with clients all day long.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Coming Home Network: Conversion Stories

Conversion Stories

Reading the many inspiring conversion stories on this webpage kept me awake until six in the morning today.

I recommend the main website, Coming Home Network to those nominal Catholics to know more about the faith they grew up with (but know so little about) and those who left the Catholic Church.

Tension at the Photocopiers

I hate encountering people arguing over things big or small in public. It just destroys your day. I especially hate it when the argument involves strangers and happen right under your nose. Yesterday afternoon was no exception.

It was Thursday about 5:30pm as I entered the stationary store. It was only thirty minutes till closing time so I proceeded immediately to the photocopy machines. There were two machines.

The first machine was about to be used by a South Asian looking woman. She was asking one of the store’s staff on how to use the copier. She had a North American accent. She was trying to photocopy a book that seemed like a textbook so I assume she is university student doing some summer courses.

Minding my own business I used the copiers like anyone would do. Insert the photocopy card, place the original documents to be copied and press the go button. Twenty copies later I thought I was done and packed my originals and copies to my bag. I wanted to do more copies of my ID and passport but I thought the old lady that was behind me might want to use the machine. I believe she went to another section of the store so I decided to do one more round of copying. (This stationary store is quite far from where I live.) When I inserted my card again I heard the old lady say that she thought I was finished I said my apologies and promised to let her use the machine. As I was repacking my bag I heard the following exchange (close to the exact words spoken):

Old lady: “Are you copying a book?”

Student: “Yes, do you have a problem with it?”

Old lady: “I think that’s against copyright law.”

Student: “This is not a New Zealand book. Do you want to use this machine because I can let you if you want to.”

Old lady: “As a citizen (of New Zealand) I am telling you what is right.”

Student: “You know there’s so much in the world to worry about than this. Please mind your own business.”

Their voices were getting loud and my heart was beating fast. I am not used to people fighting over the silliest things. As much as I want to know of the outcome I do not like to hear pointless arguments so I headed to the pens section any section just to get away from the unpleasant exchange. Probably the a store employee tried to settle the situation, I do not know.

Even at the back of the store I still heard the furious voice of the student. She said something like, “just because I am a foreigner you can’t tell me what to do…”

I went to the envelopes shelf and found out that 25 pack envelopes were on special for only 49 cents. As I went to the checkout I saw the two women quietly using the copiers. After paying I rushed out of the store.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Best Movies I've Seen Last Year (2004)

The Day After Tomorrow
The best disaster sci-fi movie I've seen so far and has a positive lesson for caring for the environment.

13 Going on 30
It is a sweet and funny story about growing up.

A good look inside the life and mind of an infamous woman in Philippine (or even world) history. The documentary proved to me that Imelda Marcos is a real basket case.

The Manchurian Candidate
Meryl Streep's acting blew me away.

Fahrenheit 9/11
It makes you think of the motives and real cost on the war in Iraq.

Of all the comic books to movie crossovers this is the best one to date.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is the best Harry Potter movie adaptation I've seen so far. (I do not read the Harry Potter books.)

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Sporadic Blah: 10 Ways to be Annoying

Sporadic Blah: 10 Ways to be Annoying

This is funny and a must read!

Basia Web: Posted by Hello

Homebaked Pandesal (Filipino breakfast rolls) in New Zealand Posted by Hello

Almond Pistacio Biscotti

Before I start blogging away I would like to credit the Australian Women's Weekly Italian Cookbook and the "Almond Pistachio Biscotti Recipe" posted on as both inspiration and source.


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 ¼ tsps baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
¾ to 1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped pistachio nuts
½ cup fruit cake mix (currants, raisins/sultanas, cherries)

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (around 180°C, gas mark 4). Place baking paper on cookie tray
  • Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl.
  • Add butter and essence.
  • Mix until it forms coarse crumbs.
  • Add almonds, pistachios and chocolate.
  • Beat together whole eggs and egg yolk with a fork. Remove 2 teaspoons and set aside for egg wash.
  • Add remaining eggs and vanilla and stir until mixture holds together.
  • With floured hands, shape dough into a log. Flatten the log. Lightly brush logs with reserved egg wash.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until logs start to brown and no imprint remains when pressed lightly with finger. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Carefully transfer logs to a cutting surface. Cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place biscotti standing up 1/2 inch apart on two ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 15 to 25 minutes more or until biscotti are dry and the sides begin to color slightly. Do not overbake.
  • Cool biscotti on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
  • Store biscotti in an airtight container or your desired packaging.