Social Spark

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bubbling Birthday Celebration

Ever been inside a bubble?  In my niece's very first birthday, ever visitor got the chance... the kids and the kids at heart.  It wasn't my first time to see a bubble show (I've got kids, you know...LOL).  But it was my first to actually try it, since everyone was already grabbing kids... even not their own, just to have a pic in it... Since there's no more kids available, I grabbed my cousin for a pose.  And yeah, we all got facebook to blame for it...

If you haven't tried it, I mean if you want it for your kids (hehehe), I think it is included in the birthday package of some party organizers.  I'm sure the kids would definitely enjoy all the bubbles.  Just be sure you bring extra clothes if you have a very hyper kid like mine.  More, they will enjoy the whole games and program the organizer prepared for them plus the playground facility inside their venue.  While, we adults enjoy their food and more, seeing our kids having fun.

To our little darling Riley...Happy 1st birthday! May you continue to bring joy to your family like how those bubbles brought joy and lighten up everyone in your party.  And may the Lord bless you with good health always and be your guide for all the years to come.  To Yahweh be the glory as always.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My PMA Cadet Years (Yearling) - Celebrating The Holidays

December 1996

2- I became a marcher of one of our academic classes.  It's an honor to be one as this means,  you topped the section of your class.  But having this recognition comes with responsibilities; being the class marcher, you're tasked to get the section's attendance, call the commands and lead your section.  Oh, I'm not that good at all the subjects, so I'm not the marcher all the time.  LOL.  

3- I started wearing glasses, as advised by our local optometrist.  Well, the training might have given me some improvements but there are also other repercussions.  I might had abused my eyes that it deteriorated.  Part of life, we gain some and we lose some. 

8-  We had our Command Christmas party.  Just like the rest of the academies and universities, this usually meant that the academic break was nearing.  In our mess hall, we had our small gathering and "salo-salo" in celebration of the joyous occasion to give thanks for the birth of our Lord Jesus.

12 to 14- We again invited our friends and new foster parents to PMA to showcase the talents of our fellow cadets in the annual 100th nite show.  The graduating class of 1997 incorporated their experiences, learning and outlook in their military career as they begin their countdown of a hundred days to graduation and will soon be leaving the portals of the academy to be of service to our country.

16 to 21-  We had an early entrucking to Manila at 0200H for the then upcoming Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Foundation Day.  We usually travel that early so we could have an ample time to fix our billeting area upon arrival, rest and prepare for the preliminary corps drill in preparation for the big day.

Every after drill, cadets were given time to visit their families or roam around the metro.  Me, I was either visiting my foster family or tagged along with a fellow cadet who lived in Manila that saved me some time just planning what to do or where to go.

24 to 31- Holiday break.  I spent my vacation with family and friends at home.  I missed it the year before, so it was something I looked forward to the whole year round.  Met with friends and talked about almost anything under the sun, especially the things I missed being with them... And most of all, celebrated the holidays with my family and relatives... simply irreplaceable at the moment.

I had a great time... and I thanked the Lord for the blessing of family and friends.   Yahweh bless.

Recent Related Post: Almost Like Home 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Simple Yet Effective Mouse Trap

I told a friend about how our house was pest with mice.  He shared to me how he made a mouse trap using a toothpaste packaging box.  It was so uncomplicated and 100% made up of recyclable materials, thereby no cost involved.  So there's no way I'm not going to try it especially how the mice made a mess in our kitchen, dining room, bed room... well, I guess almost everywhere.  I don't have problems with mice per se but when they begun to chew things they should not be chewing and poo and urinate in places that should have been sanitary, that's when they cross the line.

One night, my wife and kids were asking me why am I filling an old pail with water?  I told them just wait and see.  The toothpaste carton package dropped, and there it was, our first catch, a mouse inside the pail of water.  Confused? Let me explain and give you a step by step procedure in making the trap.

For the materials, you will be needing the following:
  • Empty box of toothpaste or alike packaging;
  • A pair of scissors or cutter;
  • String;
  • Any adhesive (tape, epoxy, or alike); and
  • An old pail or container.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Cut the loose portion of the toothpaste box on both ends using scissors.  Both openings should be cleared of hindrance so the mouse can easily slip in and out.
  2. Make a tiny hole anywhere in the tip of the box where you can tie the string.  Tie the other end of the string to a chair or any object that can support the weight of the box.
  3. Inside the tip of the box, paste or tape a small cheese or any food that can attract  mice.  The tape will secure the food when the box falls, so you won't necessary refill it every time you catch a mouse.
  4. Put the box in the edge of the table in a balancing position where half of it's body should be protruding, or just enough that it won't fall.
  5. Position a pail or any container having the same opening directly under the protruding opening of the box.  Fill it up to half level.
So, how should it work?  The mouse should be attracted to the food at the tip of the protruding end of the toothpaste box.  Upon reaching the tip, the weight of the mouse will remove the balance of the box making it fall directly to the pail of water.  The box and the food is secured by the string and sticky tape, respectively.  Thereby, leaving the mouse to dive in the water and being trapped.  Now, the fate of the mouse depends on you.  It's up to you on how you dispose them.  The only downside of the trap is that you need to position the box again every time it falls.

But hey, it effectively worked for us, so it's worth the trouble. Hope it'll work for you too, good luck. Yahweh bless.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Passport For Our Newborn

We had another member in our family that needs something which is a must when traveling outside the country... a passport.  He might only be 3 months old but he will be needing it.  And though we don't travel that much abroad, still we don't know what life has in stored for us, so it's never too early to be prepared.

Here are the steps we took in getting the Philippine passport of our baby.  Hope this can help those who are planning to do the same for their children. 

1.) As part of the requirement, you need your child's birth certificate from the National Statistics Office (NSO).  And it will take 3 to 6 months to secure the NSO copy.  For those who can't wait, you must secure your baby's birth certificate (original or NCR copy).  This is normally provided by the hospital where you gave birth.

2.) Along with the original copy, bring a photocopy of the birth certificate to your local Civil Registry Department in your city hall and have it certified as true copy.

3.) Go to NSO and have the certified copy authenticated.  Never forget to bring along the original one in case they ask for it.

4.) You can now present the NSO authenticated copy along with your passport, marriage contract (NSO copy) and a valid ID to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).  And don't forget to bring along the baby, his/her appearance in the office is a must. 

More, you won't have to go through an endless line because you are carrying a minor (especially a newborn).  DFA offices usually have separate priority numbers for those with minors and senior citizens.  Based on experience, it only took us less than 30 minutes to finish our transaction with them.  Yahweh bless.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Google SafeSearch No Longer An Option

Google just made their search engine more child friendly by not giving their users the option to disable SafeSearch.  At least, for now, this is true in some countries like the U.S.  The drop-down menu found in the upper right corner of image search that allows the users to select the option to Off, Moderate or Strict SafeSearch have been removed and replaced with choices that would further filter search results from explicit words or images.

As for our country, we still have the option to have the original drop-down menu (as found below) or migrate to the new one.  Unless if you don't know how.  Of which I won't be giving any hint here (unless of course you're a keen observer).

For those in the U.S. and those affected by the change, here is what it currently looks like:

Google even changed the search settings found by clicking the gear icon gear icon beside SafeSearch.  Now, the only option there is to give their users more ways to enhance the SafeSearch feature of their browser (i.e. Filter explicit results, Lock SafeSearch, and Block unwanted sites).  More, once the user chose to filter explicit results, strict SafeSearch would be in effect.  Meaning all explicit words and images Google recognizes would no longer be shown or included in the search, as shown below: 

Well, this may be a hassle to people who wants to see adult contents.  I wouldn't worry about that, since even with the filters on, they always find a way.  But to us parents, Google made us a huge favor by providing precaution and tools in protecting our young ones against pornographic materials that are freely circulating in the net today.  This significant move is greatly appreciated, many thanks and hoping you continue with this advocacy.  Yahweh bless.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Wearing Of Prescribed Helmets

My helmet with the required ICC sticker.
I was on my way to work when a motorcycle crossing the street stumbled.  The driver was able to get up quickly but his passenger had to be supported to stand up.  Only the driver was wearing a helmet.  The incident reminded me when a police officer issued me a violation ticket for having a passenger without helmet.  It served to me as a reminder, for as a responsible rider, we must also be concerned of the welfare of the people riding with us.  The trouble of paying violation penalty and getting my license in the Land Transportation Office (LTO) was nothing compared to the regret that I might suffer if something bad happen for my neglect... I was with my wife that time.

Now, with the Motorcycle Helmet Act (Republic Act No. 10054), mandating all motorcycle riders to wear the standard motorcycle helmet that complies with the specifications issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), riding would be a lot safer.  All riders, the driver and back riders or passengers, shall therefore wear helmets with the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) sticker, otherwise they will be penalized accordingly when caught by authorities.

So, I was very glad when DTI representatives were requested and came to our company for the ICC stickers.  My old helmet was checked by their representative, and since it was still in good condition and its brand was in their list, an ICC sticker was given.  For that, I need not buy a new one.

Here are some of the DTI accepted brands: Voltz, AGV, Space Crown, VCAN, Tanked, Index, Ben-2, GPX, MRC, HPH, Ainon, KOR, KOR HF, Nexx, Xpot, Caberg, KBC, LS2, Nolan, Shoei, Zeus, Hongying Bio, Zebra, Carting, GDR, HNJ, Spyder, Bio/H, HJC, AM, Yamaha, LEV3, Sol, Exsol, Powercycle, Transcycle, Studds, Aray, Posh, Penguin, ST, SUN, Yema, AXA, Snell and KH.  Visit your local DTI office or their website for the complete and updated list.

I concur and abide with this law, standard protective gears are for our own good and safety.  Something that can prevent or at least minimize injuries during accidents and not merely a decorative riding outfit or just for compliance purposes in riding a motorcycle.  It can save our lives and those riding with us.  Drive safely everyone and may the Lord bless us in our travels.