Friday, May 18, 2007

The Vanishing Bravo Biscuits

Sometimes, it's the little pleasures we miss most when they're gone. That's the case with the Bravo Biscuits we brought with us from Dumaguete. I have to point out to my American friends that these are not the sort of biscuits we have at home. The Bravo is what we'd call a cracker.

While we were in Philippines, my wife's father would often bring home this little treat for the grand kids. J.P. and Phillip always enjoyed them and I had to sample one myself. Nice.
As you can see from the package, the biscuit contains sesame seeds, but it is also slightly sweet.

According to the Rebisco web site, it's:
"A plain cracker dashed with sugar and sprinkled with sesame seeds making it the only one of it's kind. It has the advantage of "innovative irony of taste" with its combined delightful taste of sugar and sesame seeds. Its metallized foil package ensures a unique, soft yet crunchy biscuit which stays fresh longer."

J.P. is so fond of the cracker that we bought several packs at Super Lee to bring back home with us. Now,sadly, there aren't any more. I'm hoping that we'll be able to find them in an Asian market near our place. If not, we'll have to wait until someone we know travels to Philippines and can bring some back to us.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dumaguete McDonald's redux.

Everyone likes to be appreciated and blog writers are no exception. One way for a blogger to know if he or she is appreciated is by the number of comments the blog receives. I've visited blogs that have an incredible amount of people leaving their opinions behind as evidence of the blog's popularity. Conversely, I've seen a few blogs that are, without question, very good, but for some reason generate very few comments, if any. This particular blog does not get very many comments, but I am able to see how many folks drop by, what they're reading and if they're new or returning visitors; all this, thanks to Google Analytics.

Looking at the stats, I've seen that my most visited entry was the one about McDonald's in Philippines. The second most read entry in this blog was the one entitled changing-dollars-to-pesos-in-dumaguete which also includes a photo of the McDonald's located on Perdices in Dumaguete.

Obviously, there's a pattern. If I want more readers than I must give the readers what they want.......that is, more entries about McDonald's. Maybe I could even devote an entire blog strictly to the fast food restaurant. One would think that I'd quickly run out of things to say; I've only been to the McDonald's in Dumaguete about three times. But, that would be a sign of my true creativity; expanding those three visits into a mini-series. A gifted writer should be able to write several paragraphs on the Burger McDo found exclusively in the Filipino McDonald's. For a great writer, the possibilities are endless.

Anything to please the audience, right?

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 13,2007

Today is the 90th anniversary of the first appearance of the Blessed Mother to the three children at Fatima, Portugal.Growing in a Catholic home, I vaguely had an idea of how the story went.I even have an idealised portrait of the three,painted on wood , given to me by my grandmother more than 50 years ago.As a child, the events of 35/40 years previous seemed like ancient history.I'm not even sure when I realized that the apparitions happened during the First World War.
In 1917,my grandmother would have been a teenager-just a bit older than Lucia.In the grand scheme,90 years is not so long ago;Lucia has only been dead since 2005.She died a few months before Pope John Paul II (who was shot by a would-be assassin on this same day in 1981).
There have been all sorts of speculations and theories as to the true meaning of what happened at Fatima and it would be impossible for me to go into it all now......I'm not that good at writing. But, Google can help anyone find out anything they might want to know about it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lazy Daze

During our recent trip to Dumaguete,I made a point of taking a lot of photos.The plan was to put the photos up on my website...adding to the overall usefulness of the site.It hasn't worked out according to plan,however.I can't blame it on anything other than my own laziness.I just don't feel up to the challenge;scanning the photos,organising them,finding the appropriate medium to use to put the photos on the Internet.I could put them up on my server,or on some other format like Google Picasa or Flickr.
A few of the photos have shown up on this at a time.Still, I really should give myself a swift kick and get it done.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Filipino Bishops Prepare for Elections

It was noted in an article in Zenit, that Filipino "Bishops are trying to prepare Filipinos for the May 14 national elections, calling above all for prayer." Also, from the article, "The president of the bishops' conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, said in a statement: 'We exhort everyone to be vigilant, to pray and to offer penance for this intention.'".Judging from other stories reported from Philippines,the Bishops' plea is certainly called for.According to an article in “ former President Cory Aquino's phone was recently discovered to be "bugged".In a quote from that article,"The discovery further heated up the political atmosphere, with Aquino’s only son, Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Benigno "Noynoy” Aquino III, Thursday demanding that the government do something about it."
In a piece from the Manila Bulletin Online, a survey shows that 7 out of 10 Filipinos believe that vote-buying will "probably or definitely" happen on Election Day, May 14.
It's little wonder that the standard of living for the poor Filipinos has not advanced.The promises of the politicians aren't likely to be kept.
The majority of Filipinos are nominally Christian,but very little Christian love and charity is shown by the elite.

Google Analytics

Is it possible to be addicted to Google Analytics? It's my favorite service on the Google account.On the Firefox toolbar ,the link reads "Google Anal....." and maybe that's not too far off.I'm forever checking the stats on my website and blogs and comparing how they do.By the number of visits and page views,I see the website is more popular than my blogs, though this particular blog is catching up fast.Since returning from Dumaguete, this blog has shown an increase in the number of visits and is averaging only a few less than the website. According to the maps,it seems that some of the visitors may be the same people, though not all.
This blog has gotten visits from 46 of the 50 U.S. states....don't know why Maine,Vermont,New Hampshire and Delaware have avoided me.
The image shown here isn't from my account.I can't seem to manage to copy a page like that, but I can use the Google search engine to find an image I can use.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dumaguete City Street Map

I received an email today from someone looking for a street map of Dgte.I had one in my PC and sent a reply with a copy.According to the folder details in My Documents,I've had this GIF since July,2002.I'm not sure where it came from originally, so I can't give rightful credit.
It surprised me a bit that the emailer hadn't Googled for the map.Out of curiosity,I searched for a map on the Google search engine and couldn't find one on the Internet.I did, however,find where others had been looking for a copy, as well.It's a good thing I kept this copy for these past five years.Any one wanting a copy is free to save it.
If you click on the map, you can see a larger image of 624 x 1010 pixels.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Blog Awards

Now that we're home from our trip to Dumaguete,I've settled into a regular routine viz a viz getting on the Internet.I always check my email first.After I've taken care of whatever needs to be done with the email, I'll check the Google Analytics for the stats on my various projects.Now that I have a section for pen pals , that will be the first set of stats I look at.Next, come the stats for the Dumaguete website, then this blog then on to the stats for one blog or another.
Next in the routine, I'll post something on one of the blogs, then I'm off to check on a few of my favorite bloggers ( you know who you are ). If my favorites haven't written anything new then I'm off surfing for newer blogs to read.It was while checking out a new blog that I discovered a website that,duh,gives out awards to the best blogs chosen by the general blogging public.
We all like the idea of receiving awards.....especially for a blog (there's certainly no money in it).It's well within the rules of the website to nominate one's own blog and I'm not above doing that but there in lies the dilemma.There are several categories to chose from and I can't quite figure out where this blog belongs.
I've written a few entries on my visits to Dumaguete or Sibulan so, perhaps, it could fit into the Best Travel Blog Category.But, there's more to this blog than writing about Dumaguete.
I've written about McDonald's , the food in Dumaguete and even coffee, so maybe it fits into the Best Food Blog Category, instead.
There's a category for Best Parenting Blog and Lord knows,I've written about my son on more than one occasion.
I've written about politics , government workers and immigration.
My entries on Good Friday in Philippines or the Bleeding Statue in Sri Lanka would put me in the Religious Blog section.
A few of my posts might even qualify me for the Best Blog about Blogging Category.
Now, all they need is a category for The Best Blog about Blog Awards and I'll be set.