Wednesday, February 26, 2014

230/365 - Reunions

230/365 - Dinner with Colleagues
Dinner at Kichitora with my former colleagues 
This had been planned for a long time already. I was very fortunate to have been able to go and meet up with former colleagues and friends of mine. It was great catching up, and the food was pretty good.


Car Set-Up

My entire week at CIMS I learned a lot of things about cars and driving. I was very fortunate to talk to a lot of people who are way, way more knowledgeable than me in the automotive scene. They gave me a good idea of what things I could to to a car / ride if I had the funds.

Contrary to popular belief, power is not the most important thing to fix in a car. Unless you're planning on building a dragster, that is. I learned that braking and handling is a bigger priority, because once you get the perfect handling set-up for your car, adding power will be very easy. Just to make it clear, the person who told me this is a racing driver. He knows what he's talking about.

So now I've come up with a plan for a trackable daily driver. Meaning I want to have a car that I can use everyday in comfort, but it becomes a decent track day car when I have the funds to join a track day. This plan applies to any and all cars I've been daydreaming about. Yes, even my dream Beetle Baja.

  • Lighting. First things first, I have to improve the lighting. Use all-weather, brighter bulbs to improve night-time visibility. Add fog lamps if needed. Improve the rear brake lights, the third brake light, and improve the turn signal bulbs.
  • Sound system. Just a modern stereo system with decent speakers.
  • 17" - 18" rims. This is very important for both aesthetics and car handling. Less sidewall means better cornering. Also, getting wider rims will help me with the next step, which is...
  • Brakes. If I could install a big brake kit, I would. I just have to improve braking, not only for track but also for the street.
  • Suspension. Adjustable coilovers if possible, so that I can raise or lower ride height depending on the situation. That way as a daily driver I'd get proper ground clearance, but once on the track I would lower the car to improve handling.
  • POWER!!! Not really. Just improve the intake and the exhaust, really. I don't want to build a powerful car that ends up being a gas guzzler. I just want a nice, reliable engine that can get me at decent cruising speeds and overtaking speeds in the highway when needed.
There you have it. If you notice, you'll see I'd rather have a car that drives well and handles well. I'm guessing it's more fun having a nice, peppy, responsive car than feels like it drives on rails than a super-fast car than can't turn.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

229/365 - On Pets

229/365 - Tan Line
I love to get darker.
Last weekend at Clark my colleague Pao and I met a man and his dog. They was hired as the K9 security detail for the CIMS 2014 event. Pao had chatted with him while I enjoyed listening to their back and forth. He said something about dogs that made me think really, really hard.

He said that we owe it to our dogs who passed away to get another one and take care of the dog like our previous dog. Something like that, or at least that's how I understood it. Sort of like paying it forward.

We put Rebus to sleep one day after my 33rd birthday. I cried a lot that time, and I swore I would never get another dog because of the pain I feel when these things happen.

However, what Roger said hit me hard. Indeed, I loved Rebus a lot. I loved all of the pets we've had, and they too loved me back. I'm sure it would make them very happy and proud of me if I would continue to take care of pets as best as I could, because it would mean I was honoring the bond we had.


Monday, February 24, 2014

221 - 228/365 Weeklong Edition

I've been gone for over a week. I'll try to recap that in this blog post. I was getting ready for my work-related trip to Clark. I was going to be there from Wednesday to Sunday, possibly getting to Manila in the wee hours of Monday.

I was already done packing by Monday. I wanted to make sure I had enough clothes for the trip, with a couple of spares just in case.

221/365 - Packing for my Trip
Checking my inventory of clothes.
Tuesday I was pretty relaxed, but anxious also. This would be my first time to drive to Clark and drive back. I knew I could do it, but that didn't stop me from being a bit worried.

222/365 - Revolver Ocelot
Revolver Ocelot.
Day 1 in Clark we had dinner at this place named Iguana Mexican Restaurant. Formerly called Zapatas, the food was good and cheap. The plate you see below is actually only half of one order. My colleague and I shared one order. He got the burrito and I got the soft taco and chili.

223/365 - Dinner at the former Zapatas
Dinner at Zapatas.
The official Day 1 of CIMS 2014 was off to a slow start. There were plenty of empty areas for the car clubs, but the cars in the show were pretty impressive. I was very happy to see a Honda CRX in the flesh, as this is one of my more favorite cars.

224/365 - Honda CRX
Honda CRX at CIMS 2014
Day 2 of CIMS 2014 was more of the same. Very few people, and long hours. It gave me and my colleague time to practice our photography skills.

225/365 - BMW E36 M3
AutoPerformance Ph's BMW E36 M3
Day 3 was more action packed. Most of the car clubs arrived and we had lots of inquiries in our booth. It was also the time reinforcements arrived, in the form of my boss. That night we had dinner at Bondoc's. It was a "hole-in-the-wall" restaurant that's been around for 24 years. The steak they had was amazing. Most of us stopped talking as we ate.

226/365 - Steak at Bondoc's
Steak dinner at Bondoc's in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Our last day was mostly a blur. We all knew we were going home, and the two of us who had been in Pampanga since Wednesday were very excited to go home. The day went by relatively fast, and we packup up our stuff quickly and efficiently. We left Clark around 8:45pm.

227/365 - DM Residente's Villa
Our villa at DM Residente.
I got home midnight, technically Monday. I dropped off my boss before going home, and it was really nice of him to ride with me since I was a bit worried about the drive home. I'm glad we made good time home and we all arrived safe and sound at our own homes.

228/365 - Midnight Dinner at Home
Midnight dinner. Got home at 12mn from Clark.
Overall it was a great experience.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Blog Look!

I've changed my blog's look! I realized the old, monochromatic black-white-gray combo was getting a bit old (and painful to read - white text on a black-ish background?). Plus I don't think that color scheme fits into what I'm trying to transform myself to.

I needed cheerful colors and a quick update to the blog might help brighten my blog's mood.



This isn't my Project 365 post for the previous day. I'll be making a dual day post tonight. I just want to get this off my chest. I am, in Filipino, nerbiyoso.

Google translate (of all places to look for the definition) defines this as follows:

nerbiyoso - adjective
  • edgy - nerbiyoso
  • jumpy - magugulatin, matatakutin, nerbiyoso, palundag-lundag, paluksu-lukso
  • high-strung - napakamaramdamin, matatakutin, nerbiyoso
  • neurotic - nerbiyoso, matatakutin, ninenerbiyos
  • nervous - kinakabahan, nerbiyoso, natatakot, ninenerbiyos, takot, matatakutin
  • skittish - magugulatin, matatakutin, nerbiyoso
  • astir - nerbiyoso
  • unstrung - nerbiyoso, talihabso, maluwag ang bagting, lagot ang bagting, patid ang bagting, walang bagting
nerbiyoso - noun
  • neurotic - nerbiyoso
Each of those definitions rings true for me. I am edgy, jumpy, high-strung, neurotic, nervous, skittish, astir, and unstrung. Sometimes all at the same time. I get anxious a lot. But I don't get panic attacks, thank God.

Why am I saying this? Tomorrow I'll be going off on a business road trip for five days. I've been thinking about it the past few days because that's what I do best. I think. A lot. About things I shouldn't even be thinking this much about. It's the same when we leave for vacation abroad. I can't sleep well leading to the trip.

It's annoying, and I wish I can find something to help me get some peace of mind. Maybe I'll find it in religion. Maybe I'll find it if by being more self-aware and preventing myself from thinking too much about things. I can do that while awake. But when I sleep?

Last night I tired myself out and slept at 11pm. And I still woke up at 3am today. I'm thinking it's because of the upcoming trip. I'll be driving to Clark for the Clark International Motor Show 2014 and I'll be bringing my own car in a convoy. I am partially excited as this is the first time I'll be going north and driving.

But at the same time my paranoid side is also worrying like hell. It's the never-ending battle to find peace of mind and happiness. I'll be a very happy man once I learn to calm the f*ck down.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

219, 220/365 - Food!!!

219/365 - Food from Brasas
Pulled-Pork Sandwich and Carne Asada Wrap from Brasas.
220/365 - Homemade Tartiflette - Tito Gani Style
Tartiflette I made myself.
It was a food trip weekend.

Saturday night my mom bought take out from Brasas for Maica and I. They went to a birthday party for her officemate's daughter and got us food after the party. Maica had to stay home since no one was left and I came home from work so we couldn't go. Fortunately the food my Mom got was good. Although I prefer the pulled-pork sandwich more than the carne asada wrap.

Sunday night I cooked some tartiflette for dinner. I first tasted tartiflette when my folks brought me to Paris last 2009. I've cooked it twice, and to be honest I'd say this second one was better than the first one I cooked. Of course, they were cooked one or two years apart so I really can't say I remember how well the first one tasted anyway.


Friday, February 14, 2014

217, 218/365 - My Disposition

217/365 - Reblochon Cheese
Reblochon Cheese for Tartiflette
218/365 - My Kobe V's Spirit Lives On
Using my Kobe V's insoles inside my Sabelt karting shoes.
What a difference age makes. If I had my disposition now when I was in high school, I feel I could have achieved anything. Sadly it took me this long to grow up. But on the really bright side, I have the rest of my life to enjoy.

I used to revel in negativity. Whenever anything bad happened I smiled. Now I can't help but enjoy seeing happiness in others. Now I get bummed out with negative news, or anything negative. I guess I got fed up with my negativity and sought out ways to improve myself.

Not that I'm not negative anymore. I still am, but I feel like I'm slowly pushing that aspect of myself farther and farther away.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

216/365 - It's Starting to Itch

216/365 - Hanging Around
Look who I found lounging on the table
I wrote before how I lost my mojo as a 3D artist. So I haven't done any 3D seriously for the past few weeks. I'm still hoping I get it back. I don't want to waste the skills I learned for the past decade or so.

Well, the good news is it is starting to come back. I'm actually slowly feeling the itch to create something. I just don't know what, and I don't know how.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

214, 215/365 - Thoughts

214/365 - Tunnel Vision
Sometimes you need to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.
215-365 - Round and Roud
Sometimes everything feels like it's just spinning round and around.
I will admit that I am not the most positive person, but I do make a conscious effort not to rain on anyone's parade, if you catch my drift.

Just to keep things in general, a friend in Facebook is trying to help other people find jobs. Someone comes in and tries to discourage people from joining but pretends she's not doing that.

I just wish everyone could just get along.


Sunday, February 09, 2014

211, 212, 213/365 - Weekend Roundup

211/365 - Hooray for Today
McFloat and Fries for dessert
212/365 - Your Shoes Are Untied
I forgot to take a Day 213 photo so I recycled another Day 212 photo.
213/365 - Hello, Sexy
Sexy the dog, at Paradizoo
I either forgot to take day 213 photos, or I accidentally deleted them from my camera. Dammit.

Oh well.

It has been a very tiring week. Work had some problems that needed addressing, and today (Feb. 9, 2014) was the Family Day for Martina's school. So I was mentally pushed during the week, and physically pushed today.

Not that I am complaining much. I actually enjoyed the experiences. For one thing, I realize I learn a lot of things from problems I might not learn if they never happened. It involves crisis management, panic control, fuzzy logic, and quick thinking. The fact that I realize those things and learn from them speaks great volumes about the growth I've had over the past year alone.

As for the family day, how can I complain? I spent time with my wife and daughter, we all had fun at Paradizoo (Trip Advisor link). It was worth getting tired and getting sweaty.

I still think I need another day to rest, but what the hell. I have to enjoy each and every day.

On another note, it is hard to police myself to be constantly aware of whatever I'm doing. However, things seem to end up better if I do it. I just have to always be careful I don't slip.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

209, 210/365 - Conscious Effort

209/365 - Martina and Her Kariman
Martina and her "Kariman" from Mini Stop
210/365 - My Mom's Miniature Sala Set
My Mom got this miniature sala set from Ilocos Norte
Lately I've been bored to blog. Because I'm lazy. No excuses. However I realized that the root cause of my laziness is similar to my recent losses in my battle with my temper. I was not exerting conscious effort.

When I blogged everyday I was exerting conscious effort to blog. There were times my posts felt forced, but there were also times I wrote pretty good thoughts. Same with my temper. When I am conscious of my effort to control my temper, I manage to police myself and control my temper relatively well.

What happens when I don't consciously put effort on anything? It. All. Comes. Crashing. Down. Trust me, I know. I've experienced it.

Sad to say, I'm only human and an extremely flawed one at that. I can only maintain a level of self-control for so long before I either relax my guard or I get lazy.

Take for example my 3D skills. Since I changed careers I haven't practiced my skills seriously enough. I've always been planning on creating a training program for myself, but up to now I haven't. I need to make a very conscious effort at creating a training program that I can follow and abide by no matter what. Similar to what I am doing with my Project 365 blog.

I'm glad I can still catch myself and force myself to improve. I just hope I can eventually become so consistent that it becomes second nature.


Tuesday, February 04, 2014

207, 208/365 - Learning Experiences

207/365 - Storing Memories
Sending Some Pics to My Aunt and Grandmother via CD
208/365 - Nero and I
Nero - My Main Dog
Changing perspective is crucial to achieving peace of mind. It also helps in letting go of whatever issues you have. That is what I am trying to do now. To help myself let go of things I should let go.

I'm now trying to view everything I experience as a learning opportunity. I should learn something from everything, no matter how good or how bad the experience is. I just have to change perspective to find the lesson.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

206/365 - Long Weekend Roundup

206/365 - Food Food Food
I think it's time to re-read these comics again.
It was an amazing long weekend. I got to visit my grandmother in Lucena, Maica got to see the place where I spent many summers as a child, and Martina got to play in her newly renovated play house.

I think these three days I spent were enough to get me charged up until the next long weekend, whenever that will be. I know I said I'm still having trouble adjusting to a six-day work week, and I still am. I guess I need to know how to manage my free time in order to maximize whatever free time I have, specially on Sundays.

And as a final thought, it has been months since I did anything involving 3D. I know I'll be rusty, I just don't have the urge to create anything or to practice.


Saturday, February 01, 2014

203, 204, 205/365 - My Focus

203/365 - Martina at School
Martina at her school's activity, making pink lemonade.
204/365 - Martina's Play House
Martina at her playhouse in Lucena with Lola Vivian, Jill, Maica, and Lola Emen.
205/365 - Egad, A Baja!
I finally saw the Baja my dad was telling me about.
One of the greatest things that happened to me theses past few months has been a renewed sense of focus. I now know what is my priority and what I have to do in order to make sure I achieve my goals.

Family always, always comes first. It may not be as obvious to those involved but I am seriously prioritizing my family.

That's all I want to write about now.