Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Not So Mysterious Rock

So I spent a good two hours surfing the internet for the usual garbage, since I’m stuck at the company apartment in Guam without a couch and working TV.

I chance upon this website: http://planetoddity.com/the-mysterious-sailing-stones-of-death-valley/ – because I was curious how other people’s photos of the Racetrack came out. I let out a chuckle at the first few photos because objectively, they’re pretty crappy. But the pictures kept going, and then one picture looked really familiar.

Mystery Rocks at the Racetrack

Also posted here: http://izismile.com/2009/10/23/the_mysterious_sailing_stones_of_death_valley_46_pics.html

I know its harmless image farming at the end of the day, but if you’re not going to give credit where it’s due, I wish you all the karma that you deserve, jerks.

PS – The first time I passed Death Valley, was on a 150cc Vespa scooter en-route to Las Vegas in 2007. We’ve been back every year since.

West Entrance to Death Valley

Life is too short to act like you can put it off till tomorrow.

Yay, Pig Blood

Just got home after a 15 hour leg from SFO to Manila. One of the things I noticed compared to the normal LAX route is the cleanliness of SFO, and general lack crazy bus drivers plying the roundabout and chaos inside the terminals. My only complaint, though not warranted, was the lack of arroz caldo in the Mabuhay lounge.

Just finished a plate of Dinuguan from Pampanga. Nothing to start the day off right, than filling up on coagulated pig blood. Nom nom.

Jack

Vanessa is sitting in the garage on jack stands, ass in the air, without her rear wheels.

Rudy came over and hooked me up with a floor jack, and jack stands, even though I picked up a used set on Craigslist a few days ago. Since the clearance of the bus is so high, the 2-ton jack and stands I got would not even raise the bus an inch!

I got as far as removing two pieces of engine tin, and was working on loosening up some more bolts with the ratchet when the socket adapter blew out on me and essentially made me dead in the water. Not a big deal, since we already knew that I needed a 12/13mm wrench to take out the heat exchanger boxes completely anyway. Them nuts look rusted pretty tight.

I’m a complete mechanical n00b. The most exciting thing I’ve done is change a flat tire, second to replacing a valve cover gasket (which failed miserably and continued to drip oil on the exchangers). Somehow, I hope this would change slowly. As long as it doesn’t kill me, I’m good with that. Which is also a good reason (staying alive) I’m looking over the heating system – remember kids, carbon monoxide is a silent and odorless killer!

Mr. Tioseco

Alexis, there is no day that passes that I don’t think of you, and how much it weighs on my heart to realise I will never hear your voice again except in the fondness of the past, that the laughter we share and the bright excitement of the world to come was taken away before its time was due. I know for a fact that I may never know a man as real as you were with me, in sharing our secrets of family and friends, that my world, and everybody’s world, would never be the same without you.

It’s shattering to realise that the life we hold so precious could slip away at any given moment, especially when you trust the world to hold your expectations. That I said I would see you again soon after the New Year, and gave you and Nika a hug, would still cloud my mind with disbelief it would be our last. My burden remains on the love that you’ve left behind, but the gift you have given me, to realise that you can love the world for what it is, and what it could be, I will forever be grateful. As Ping said, see you soon, Comrade.

No Fear

There’s nothing about the unknown to be afraid of, because by the time it besets you, all you will need to do is shut your mouth and deal with it. And that’s what makes you a stronger person. Have you ever met someone who’s successful and happy by choosing the obvious, and staying put in his/her comfort zone? Boundaries are made to be broken, and life is too short to live the same life like yesterday.

About the Way We Laugh

The world speaks to us through words of wisdom and unforgiving grace. Of the gradient sunsets and hidden currents under the sea, of the way the wall of silence at night absorbs you into its slumber. Yet look at all the noise we force into our lives, littered in greed and meaningless banter. Then, each morning, the world will again offer you its beauty, to be ignored all over again. Sleep through the sunrise, and work in a windowless cube through the sunset.

Rules need to be understood and are sometimes fun to break, because it’s only then you realise what they are meant to protect. There’s nothing to be done about the doldrum of formalities, but it helps to stop the hamster wheel and think about what it means to drink your favorite brewed beverage, exercise your rights to free speech, stretch your back, hold a warm hand. You’re as happy as you want to be.

The beat of the heart only lasts for a split second. Much, like life.

Act Accordingly

I’m hoping that the solidity of my opinion is not a function of stubbornness and age, but rather of thought out convictions that are a result of critical thinking, and holding myself up to standards a step further than what is simply convenient. For it is easy to act in the mold that pleases other people – but to realise at the end of the day that disconnect between what your heart says and what strangers in the world want you to believe in, is unforgivable. Although I recently read a quote in the New Yorker (really love that publication, BTW), asking if you would rather be right, or would you rather be happy. The latter at a glance would seem like an invitation that no opinion is better than a dissenting one, but I’m guessing the point is to find that middle ground where you can argue and justify your beliefs, without being a bitch about it. Barry once asked, Can we disagree without being disagreeable?

I wish the world were as simple as when I was six, and as explainable when I was sixteen. As each decade adds another layer of things to think about, I can’t help but realise that the questions are more important, than the answers we desperately seek.