Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Favorite Cuisines

This blog post was inspired by my mother's own post in her blog, with a small twist. This will not be a top ten. I will be writing down my favorite kinds of cuisine around the world. Why? Because depending on my mood, something could be my number one favorite cuisine. Or it could be fifth. So allow me to introduce to you my favorite cuisines of the world.
  • Japanese. I always enjoy eating Japanese food. My current favorite Japanese food are katsu curry, hire tonkatsu, takoyaki, sushi, and sashimi. There's something about how they prepare the food, cook it, and present it that makes me very happy whenever I get to eat Japanese food.
  • Indian, Bangladeshi, Middle Eastern. Spicy food, but very good food. I became even more appreciative of this type of cuisine when I went to Bangladesh for two weeks a few years ago. I was immersed in all kinds of excellent food: chicken tikka, jalmuri (popped rice snack), chapatis, porotas, and of course curry. I'm just glad that there are good Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants in Metro Manila to satisfy my craving for this type of cuisine.
  • Italian. I spent a week or so in Italy and got a taste of real Italian food. I'd say I was in food heaven. The carbonaras, steaks, and crustinis I ate were all very tasty, very rich, and very filling.
  • Filipino. Being a Filipino I consider our cuisine comfort food. I don't even think I have to include this in this list because what kind of person would not like his/her own cuisine? I love adobo, longganisa, and bistek most.
  • American. Burgers, milk shakes, McDonalds, Wendys. All unhealthy. All evil. All good. 'Nuff said.
  • Singaporean. One of the best things about going to Singapore is eating at the hawker centers. I always enjoy their carrot cakes and Hainanese chicken rice.
  • Chinese. Barbecued Pork. Peking Duck. Dimsum. Fried noodles. Congee. There are more but I can't remember them right now.
  • Korean. There are a lot of Korean foods I enjoy. The red spicy paste who's name I forget, kimchee, bulgogi, pajeon, and bibimbap are some of the things I like eating.
  • Spanish. I love eating salpicao, paella, and Spanish tortilla. Plus I really want to try authentic tapas.
These cuisines I listed are my personal favorite cuisines. I'm pretty sure there are more cuisines I like, but I can't seem to remember them right now. All I can say is I can't wait to add more to this list. I'm always open minded when it comes to food.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oh, No! Not Another Car Post!!!

Yes, it's time for another car post. Why? Because I'd like to write on this blog again, and I can't think of anything to write. So here we go.

Volkswagen Kubelwagen. 

What about it? Right now I'm thinking this would be an ideal car for the Philippine roads. To be more specific, Metro Manila roads.

Let me tell you why I think this would be a good car.

First, it has good ground clearance. Perfect for flooded areas. And you don't have to worry about accidentally scraping the bottom because of a sudden pothole or if the humps are too steep.

Next, it seems small but spacious. It has four doors, something you don't have on a classic VW Beetle. It can seat four people. Maybe five if they're thin or small. The "trunk" is at the front of the car, and it looks like it can fit a few overnight bags or groceries.

Then you have the engine. According to wikipedia, the Kubelwagen has two engines to choose from: a 985cc engine and a 1,131cc engine. I'm guessing since this is a Volkswagen you can easily upgrade the engine and get a bigger displacement one from a Beetle. I'm guessing this won't be that much of a gas guzzler seeing as how it's also a relatively light vehicle.

But wait, it's a convertible. Plus it has no air-conditioning. These two things are important to factor in because of the high heat and humidity of the Philippines. But with today's technology it won't be too much of a problem to either install an air-conditioning unit in the car, or to find a way to insulate the car to take care of the heat problem.

If you know me well you'll know that I used to have a "Holy Trinity" of classic cars I'd like to own, restore, and modify. These three were all Volkswagens. The VW Kombi, the VW Beetle, and the VW Karmann Ghia. But now it looks like a fourth VW is joining my group of dream cars. The Volkswagen Kubelwagen.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Gas Prices

So fuel prices are rising. Again. This time they're at a relatively high PhP54.25 or so per liter for unleaded gasoline. It seems like every week prices increase by around PhP1.00 give or take a couple of centavos.

Now a lot of people complain about this. Even I complain about this. And I have my reasons. No, I don't honestly think oil companies are super-greedy bastards who want to maintain a certain amount of profit. Although I do think that at times. But capitalism rules, so what can I say?

The biggest reason why I complain about oil prices is simple. My purchasing power weakens with every increase in oil prices.

Let's say I get 20L of unleaded for PhP50 per liter. That's PhP1000 total. Now let's say the next week prices increase to PhP51.25 per liter. Now I have to spend PhP1025 for 20L of gas.

So it's only PhP25 difference. Right? Wrong. That's already a big chunk for me. That could have been used to buy me a snack or to buy me a drink. Or medicine. However instead of ending up in other uses, it goes to my gasoline budget. So now I have to start diverting funds from other stuff I could have bought to my gasoline budget. Now imagine doing that every week.

Now some of you may say, I'm a fat guy. The less food I eat the better for me to lose weight and all. But that's not my point. Imagine how other people are feeling about this. They also have to cut back on something else just to afford gasoline.

But hear this. Nowadays I can't even save the same amount of money I used to because now I have to cut back on my savings budget just so I can maintain the funds for my other expenses. Not just food expenses. Groceries, office parking, and other miscellaneous expenses are there. And don't tell me I can scrimp on them, because all of them are honestly more important right now than savings. Sad. But that's life for me. Imagine how other motorists feel, those who make even less than what I make.

On a side note, I'm not implying I make a ton of cash. No sir, I make enough to pay for gas, food, and parking. I can't save, can't even afford to buy my own place, but this rant is for another day.

So there it is. The biggest reason why I dislike rising fuel prices. Because I can spend less on other things.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Headlights and Other Car Stuff

I'm seriously considering switching headlight bulbs. And replacing wiper blades.

Why? Simple. Last night as I was driving home the rain started pouring. Bad. I don't know why but I was having difficulty seeing the road as I drove. I turned on my fog lamps for added visibility but the rain was just too strong. Plus the fact that fog lamps only illuminate a short distance in front of the car.

Now one factor I can "blame" for this slight lack of visibility was the fact that the wipers were "smearing" something on the windshield. Every time the blades would pass, the rain would be whisked away but there was this strange film on the windshield which diffused oncoming headlights, and also made the view slightly blurred. Not a good combination.

This got me thinking. Sure, I can replace the wiper blades and hope that next time it rains the visibility won't be as bad. But then again, I'd also like to increase my visibility at night.

No, I'm not planning on adding really bright lights that blind oncoming traffic. I don't even plan on switching to HID bulbs since the car a) doesn't have HID projectors (which are required in other countries to properly utilize HIDs) and b) I can't seem to find HID projector headlamps which fit into the car. Oh, and c) I don't have a budget for something that expensive.

However, after consulting with some good friends, and browsing the net, I came across a possible solution to my lighting woes.

PIAA make good quality bulbs. I just have to find out what bulbs the car uses so I can start saving for two sets of bulbs. One pair, the normal color bulb, will be used for my headlights.  The other pair, colored yellow, I will install on the fog lamps. But I just discovered a small problem. I can't seem to find normal colored bulbs in PIAA's website. All are either in white, bluish white, purplish white, or yellow colors.

So maybe I'll just get one pair in white for the headlights, and the other in yellow for the foglamps. Sounds like the best compromise. The big issue I have with the whitish colored bulbs is the fact that I might end up blinding oncoming traffic. That's something I've been experiencing lately and to be quite honest I dislike the experience of being blinded by an oncoming car. I find it rude and inconsiderate. I don't want to be a jerk like others who don't mind blinding oncoming traffic.

Hopefully this will help my future concerns of driving in very strong rains. Because once rainy season arrives, I'm pretty sure I'll be going up against a lot of those.


Friday, March 04, 2011

The Undertaker's Streak

So it seems as if Wrestlemania XXVII will feature a Triple H vs. The Undertaker match.

I don't know if this is going to be similar to what The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels did last year, The Streak vs. The Career. Obviously, Michaels lost and officially retired from active wrestling. Something that wasn't a gimmick either, where after spending time off (either to rest or to heal some major injury) Shawn Michaels would return. Because as of now, I haven't heard anything about him going back to wrestle.

So this new turn of events got me thinking about what would happen. I have two scenarios I can think of.

  • Scenario 1: Triple H loses and retires for good. Taker keeps his streak alive and all is well in the world. This is a likely scenario because from what I've read in a few wrestling websites, Triple H already has an office in WWE's headquarters. Meaning he already has a front office job he's doing. This could end up being Triple H's farewell match, similar to what Shawn Michaels did last year. He could put up one hell of a match against Taker, lose, retire, and focus on moving on to the next part of his wrestling career. A more behind-the-scenes career but one that will still involve him with wrestling.
  • Scenario 2: Taker loses. He suddenly announces his retirement and moves on to a post-wrestling career. I read somewhere before that if you are leaving a company as a show of gratitude you lose your last match.
Here's what bothers me about the second scenario. Taker's loyal to the WWE. He never left since he moved there, and he's been a good employee all these years. Heck, the (supposed) reason why his schedule is so light is because WWE considers this is a way of thanking him for all his years of loyalty.

The Undertaker is such a good employee, and so passionate about wrestling that I don't think he'd even think twice about finally losing in Wrestlemania. I've read it in wrestling websites and in wrestler's autobiographies. The Undertaker is that professional.

I think it would be unfair if he does lose in Wrestlemania. The WWE should let Taker retire unbeaten in Wrestlemania. I honestly think they owe it to the guy. Plus I also don't think Triple H would ask Taker to lose. At least, I hope he wouldn't.

I honestly think Triple H will lose to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, and then retire graciously and move on to other responsibilities.

And I honestly think The Undertaker should retire undefeated in Wrestlemania. Let him make his gracious exit in some other match.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Gran Turismo 5

So I finally started playing Gran Turismo 5.

First impressions? Graphics are awesome. The AI isn't.

Granted I haven't been able to download any patches (because I still have no PSN ID) so I'm not sure what's new. But the AI feels exactly like it did in Gran Turismo 4.

In fact in my opinion, GT5 is a port of GT4.

So many opinions about this game, but I will reserve my judgement seeing as how I'd rather get used to playing the game before I start critiquing it more.

But as of right now, my only comment about GT5 is that it's a good alternative when I'm getting bored playing NBA 2K11's My Player.