Sunday, November 28, 2010

Random Thoughts (Again)

Here we go...

The jackpot for the Philippines Grand Lotto has gotten to around PhP640M. That's roughly USD12M. Lots of people have been queuing up and placing their bets. All hoping to win that money and improve their way of life.

You can include me in that group. Unfortunately I really doubt I'd win that. The odds are against me (imagine how many six-digit combinations you can come up with using the numbers 1 - 55). I most likely don't deserve to win it because of many different, illogical reasons. Like the fact that in my head I've already spent the money on a lot of things that will help me improve my life. Or maybe God doesn't think I should win it since I'm already blessed with a decent paying job.

But whatever happens, whoever wins that jackpot will be one lucky person.

* * *

It is now time to focus on a pick-up truck. Yes, a pick-up truck. This is now the option my folks are considering as their next vehicle.

I have no problems with a pick-up. In fact I'm rather curious how it feels to drive one. I do know that after having discussions about pick-ups with my friends who've had the experience of driving in them, I can expect a few minor mods to the vehicles.

Like making sure the tires on the pickups can provide decent grip not only in dry weather but also during wet weather. I've heard of a story from my friend who said he could not move his pick-up up a ramp heading into a mall parking area because it was raining and the ground was wet. He had to ask his date to drive it up while he bounced around the back just so he could add extra weight so the tires would grip. Or maybe it's because that was a 4x2 and the rear was empty hence no traction.

Then it would also be important to make sure the headlights are bright enough. But not blinding to oncoming traffic.

And of course one must purchase the necessary anti-theft gear for the pick-up.

* * *

Well I guess that's all I have in mind right now.

I'd write more but I'm just borrowing my wife's netbook.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Basketball Bug

I've been playing basketball with my officemates every Thursday for the past 4 weeks or so. And despite some scary setbacks (an officemate broke both forearm bones during a basketball related accident) I have continued to soldier on.

In fact, you could say I've been bitten by the basketball bug.

It started out with me thinking I could still play. This continued on for a few weeks. But then I saw video evidence that I actually suck. Bad. But I did not quit. I just started going back to the basics.

What makes this weekly basketball game exciting for me is that I have some officemates who want to learn the game and are very enthusiastic about playing. This rubbed off on me, and now I too am enthusiastic to re-learn what skills I had during my "youth."

This is not without some problems. But these problems can be solved relatively easier.

1. I'm out of shape. But the weekly playing has my body slowly adapting back to having a (relatively) active lifestyle.

2. I'm old. Yes, I'm still only 30 years old, but I wasn't exactly active the past five or six years of my life. So now my body recovers longer from fatigue, and I'm not as flexible as before. I also have to take things easy as I could encounter some serious heart problems if I force myself too much. Remember the late great Pete Maravich passed away because of a heart attack during a pick-up basketball game. I do not want the same thing to happen to me.

3. I need goggles. My eyesight is so bad I cannot play anymore without my glasses. Unfortunately being one of the only few "bigs" in the office, I have to play down low. This poses a problem as one bad pass could shatter my glasses and blind me. I hope this doesn't happen. My officemate has offered me some playing prescription glasses. I just hope I can afford them. Plus I need to have my eyes checked since its been about four or five years since I last had them checked. I'm pretty sure my eyes have gotten worse.

4. I need basketball shoes. These past few weeks I've been playing with my adidas rubber shoes. I'm not sure if they're tennis shoes or cross trainers, but I definitely need my own pair of basketball shoes. Just because basketball shoes are built for basketball. And using my shoes now I feel I'm not getting the cushioning I need.

That's it. Four problems that I can solve either with time or with money. No problem. I just hope I can keep this weekly ritual up so that I have at least one activity that can keep me healthy.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Car Wishlist

You've seen what I've done before. List down vehicles I'd want to own. Well now it's a bit different. This time I'm listing down cars I can afford right now. Well not totally afford but assuming that one of my folks' cars are sold and I can use the money as down payment. Why am I assuming this? Because I'd rather pay extra for a car that I will primarily use rather than let my folks get a really small car (ex. Suzuki Celerio or Hyundai i10).

This is the list I came up with. This list is from most wanted to least. I am basing the cost of each vehicle on the October 2010 Buyer's Guide of C! Magazine.

1. Ford Fiesta 1.6L 5-dr Trend Powershift. Yes, surprisingly this is my first choice. It's a hatchback and it's relatively small but I think it has the most bang for the buck. It's a totally new design, it looks nice, and it's got a 1.6L engine, so power is definitely not lacking. The only difference between this and the top-of-the-line Fiesta is that this has only 1 airbag. My biggest concern here is how spacious this is.

2. Honda Jazz 1.3L (A/T). Yes it seems underpowered, but if it's just a city car this would also do well. This is more spacious than the Fiesta, I'm guessing, plus its a Honda so reliability is not an issue. However this is more expensive than the Fiesta.

3. Toyota Yaris (A/T). Top of the line Yaris is the same price as the Ford Fiesta I like. The deciding factor here would be the space. And I still like the Honda Jazz more than this, just because the Jazz seems more spacious.

4. Honda City 1.3S (A/T). Also a pretty expensive option, but looks-wise very nice. The reason the Honda City is 4th is that it is not a hatchback. Right now I prefer hatchbacks, mainly because I think hatchbacks are more spacious.

5. Toyota Vios 1.3E (A/T). Same reasons with the Honda City, although this is cheaper. The only reason the City is ahead of the Vios is because the City looks better.

Wild cards: Hyundai Accent GL (M/T) & Kia Rio 1.4 Sedan (A/T). Two Korean wild cards. The Accent's advantage being that it's a diesel, while the Rio has the automatic transmission advantage. I've been inside both cars (lots of taxis using these two cars) and I like the way they look inside too. It is kinda cramped, but who can complain? The diesel intrigues me, because of how much torque it has. Plus it has been a while since I last drove a stick shift.

That's it. My choices. What do you think?