Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'd Pull Out My Hair, if I Wasn't Already Bald

I've been trying for hours to access my blog on the Internet using this poor excuse for a web server. I know, I know; you get what you pay for and I'm just piggy-backing on my sister-in-law's mobile account, but that's only because my wife and I can't agree on when to purchase cable TV and high speed Internet.

As I write this post, at 1:12 PM PHT, I finally have access, but of course, I'm typing this post on wordpad and there's no guarantee that I will still be online when I've finished writing.

There's an Internet cafe across the street and the connection speed is so much faster- it's like lightening speed compared to what I'm using now. Heck, I think this mobile wifi is worse than AOL dial-up ever was. The only problem with the Internet cafe is the transferring what I've written from this wordpad onto the blog page. I could type my posts at the cafe, but that would take time and would not be convenient; one never knows when the muse may be upon me.

So, for the time being, I will continue as I've been doing vis a vis this pathetic Internet connection. I'll grumble and complain and hope for the best.

From the looks of things, it'll be a couple of more weeks before my desk top pc arrives via balikbayan box. Assuming it hasn't been damaged, I'll be more than ready to get a reliable, fast Internet connection.

Post script. I was right. This really takes the proverbial cake. I can finally access my blog as a reader, but I can't log in.

Oh, wait. Now I can't even read my own #$#@*& blog.

My only option is to transfer this document to a flash drive and attempt to download in on to a pc at the Internet cafe.

Wish me luck. I'll need it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pancakes for Breakfast

Here in Sibulan, we don't really have what one would call a grocery store. We do have a farmer's market where one can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, chicken and pork, but there is nothing here like Krogers or Publix in Sibulan. For certain items -coffee, tea,cereals and canned goods- you have to go into Dumaguete.

When I first started visiting Dumaguete 14 years ago, the only place that could compare to a grocery store back home was located at Super Lee Plaza. Honestly, you can find everything at Super Lee, from groceries to clothing to electronics. You name it, it's at Super Lee.

Within the last few years, competitors have arrived. Cang's department store has relocated and expanded into the grocery market and with the coming of Robinson's Mall, the Robinson's company now has two grocery locations in Dumaguete.

For me, however, these new guys can't beat the prices at Super Lees.

Two of the things we miss most in Philippines are pancakes and home made biscuits. As for the biscuits, we'll be buying an oven, but unfortunately, not right away; at least not until we knocked a major dent into our house renovation projects. The pancakes, on the other hand, are do-able.

My first stop for flour and baking soda was, naturally, Super Lee. This was before our first visits to Cang's and Robinson's. There wasn't the wide selection of all purpose flour like I'm accustomed to in the States. There was only one brand, and it was PHP 95 a kilo; a little more than $2.00. I wanted to do a bit of price checking before buying this flour, but as it turned out, the other grocery stores were higher.

I promised JP that I'd fix pancakes Sunday, so I bought the flour at Super Lees, along with the baking powder, margarine and pancake syrup. On a later visit to Lees, I went over one aisle from where I found the flour, and found bulk items. On that aisle, I found all purpose wheat flour for just 45 a kilo. I bought a bag and I'll compare the two. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting the cheaper flour from here on out.

It's Sunday now....Pancake Day, but it's just 6:30 AM and the only one awake now, besides me, is JP's five year old cousin, Karl. Karl has yet to discover the wonders of pancakes. He'll have to wait until JP's up and about. Karl doesn't know what's in store for him.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

And The Work Begins

Two days ago, we were finally able to begin the electrical work we've planned for the house. It's a major renovation. Because the house is built of concrete, holes had to be cut into the walls for the wiring, switches, plug ins and panel.

W e put my wife's youngest brother to work. We rented a grinder with an attachment allowing him to cut away the concrete. Cathy and I had things to do in Dumaguete, so we left her brother to complete his work.

When we returned home, we found that he had nearly completed the job, but everything in the house was completely covered in concrete dust. It was an absolute mess. Fortunately, my wife's sisters and a brother-in-law were there to help. My son's grandfather took all the kids to his place so at least they were all out of the way while we set to work.

Yesterday, after the electrician gave us a material list, Cathy and I went to a n electrical supply store in Dumaguete to purchase everything on the list. It was quite a list; electrical panel, a wide assortment of boxes, switches, wiring and conduit. The material cost us a bit over PHP 8000 - a little less than $200. I don't know exactly what the same items would have cost us in the U.S., but I'm pretty sure $200 would not have come close to paying for it all.

The electrician began work yesterday afternoon. The first part of the project involves cementing the boxes in place. That completed, I imagine the cement will need to harden some what before the electrician can go further.

For his part, the electrician will charge us PHP 5000. That includes the cost of his helper.

Once this job is completed, we start our window project.

So much to do.
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