Sunday, October 30, 2016

Games 3 and 4

Due to major time zone differences, Saturday morning here was when Game 3 of the 2016 World Series was shown live on Fox Sports 2. During Game 1, I started out as a neutral observer but was quickly impressed with the Cleveland Indians performance. Upon learning that Hillary Clinton was reported to be a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I decided to go all out for Cleveland.

Naturally, I was disappointed with Game 2, but I wasn't about to switch teams.

Saturday morning here, my son had to be at his school; I took him and my wife there just after the game started and due to a few SNAFU, I had to drive to the school a couple of times before the game ended. I had to pick them up and bring them home during the bottom of the ninth inning. I was confident that the Cubs wouldn't score in there final inning, but I wish I could have seen the end. A one run lead is a nail biter.

It would be Sunday morning here for Game 4. Not wanting to miss Mass, I went to the vigil Mass Saturday night.

Needless to say, I enjoyed this game more than I had Games 2 and 3. Two didn't go my way, and 3 was too close for comfort.

Monday morning's game (AKA Sunday night in US) will be the final game in Chicago. I'm hoping it will also be the final game in the 2016 World Series. The Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908 and I'm sure many Cubs fans will be devastated to see their team lose all three of their games at home, but as Tom Hanks so aptly told us, there's no crying in baseball.

Alfred Electronics Shop Redux.

Back in September, I wrote a piece on Alfred Electronic Shop, an electrical fix-it-shop located near our apartment in Sibulan. As I mentioned in that post, I've been to the shop on a number of occasions to have repair work done.

The owner always did very good work for me, and in appreciation, I added Alfred Electronic Shop to Google Maps. Sadly, I returned two days ago for a repair job and found his place of business closed. After a bit of investigation, I learned that the owner, his wife and children left Sibulan for his family home, somewhere in Mindanao.

Life can be very difficult here; I hope he and his family do better with their new endeavors. He seemed to be a nice guy and I wish him the best of luck.

Note: After writing this post, I went to Google Maps to mark the shop as permanently closed - the saddest edits I've ever made to the Google Maps website.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Game Two

In yesterday's post [World Series 2016 Game One] I mentioned that, because I had no emotional involvement with either the Cubs nor the Indians, it made little difference to me which team wins the 2016 World Series. In the aftermath of yesterday's game, my view towards the teams changed slightly.

I was much more impressed with Cleveland's performance in game one, and when I learned that Hillary Clinton claimed to be a Cubs fan, it was much easier for me to root for the Indians. Today's game was very much different from the first. It was as if two different teams were playing. To say that I was disappointed in Cleveland's game would be an under statement.

Also, yesterday, I wrote that I "suspected" that Cleveland would win the World Series this year. I may have spoken too soon, but the odds still appear in their favor. Home team, won first game. That's a good sign. AL teams have won the series more often - another good sign. Lastly, even though Cleveland hasn't won the World Series since 1948, the Cubs were in a 40 year slump then - which they've yet to pull out of.

Again, I'd rather see the Cleveland Indians win this year, but if the Chicago Cubs win, I won't shed any tears.

The next three games will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings Philippines time. Looks like I'll need to find something else to blog on until then.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

World Series 2016 Game One.

Now that I'm retired and living outside the U.S., I try to watch Major League Baseball when ever I can. There are a number of reasons for that. One, because I don't have to sent my time to a work schedule, I don't have to worry about games interfering with a job. Secondly, it is nice to be a part of something going on in the United States. Unfortunately, I'm unable to watch college football here - no SEC - but Fox Sports 2 does show MLB regularly. I'm not anal about the sport. I don't have to follow the games obsessively, but I do enjoy the opportunity to watch a game fairly regularly.

I've been looking forward to watching this year's World Series. I'm not emotionally involved with either Chicago or Cleveland. It doesn't really matter a great deal to me which team wins - as long as the games are played well.

Due to the time difference, the first game of the series began at 8:00 AM today - Philippine time. I'd have plenty of time to take my son to school and return home to watch the game. The only drawback is that I need to fetch my son around 11:30 AM for lunch, which means with the 10 to 15 minute drive time to his school, I have to leave before the bottom of the eight inning. After Chicago missed their chance in the 7th and 8th innings, I was confident that Cleveland would win the game while I was on my way to pick my son, but I was surprised when I returned and discovered - via the Internet - that Cleveland doubled their score in the eight.

It was announced during the game that tomorrow's game will be moved ahead one hour due to the possibility of bad weather in Cleveland. That means the game will begin at 7:00 AM Philippine time and I should be able to watch the entire game before time to fetch my son for lunch.

Three hours before the game, Dana Perino was asked by one of her co-anchors on The Five which team she believed would win the World Series. I'm not sure why her prediction would be any better or worse than anyone else. She said she'd wait until after she watched the first game before predicting the final winner. I have no inside information, but I suspect Perino will pick the Cleveland Indians. If she does, I suspect she'll be correct.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mark Shea, Dim Bulb

As my readers are reader is well aware, I've been banned (more than once) from commenting on Mark Shea's blog and because of that banishment, I no longer link to his blog. I've given up, for the most part, reading what he writes - if I can't leave a comment, why bother?

Now, thanks to the blog, Abbey Roads, I've become aware of a particularly outlandish post by Mr Shea.

After months of lecturing his readers that Trump must be defeated - and if that means voting for Hillary Clinton so be it - Shea writes,

  "Now that it is becoming obvious Hillary will win, it is time to turn our thoughts toward opposing the still very serious danger she poses".

In arguing that Clinton must be opposed, Shea links to Huffington Post article which points out that Clinton is not only "the candidate of Wall Street", she is "the candidate of the military-industrial complex".

From the article comes this: "Perhaps more than any other person, Hillary can lay claim to having stoked the violence that stretches from West Africa to Central Asia and that threatens US security".

Did it take an article written in Huffington Post to turn on the (dim) bulb in Shea's head? He didn't realize how truly dangerous Hillary Clinton is until now?

Everyone familiar with me know that I can't support either Trump or Clinton. The idea that one is less dangerous than the other is stupidity. Shea has been encouraging people in swing states to vote for Clinton. I hope he's happy with the results.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ms Ann's Foodtown

Yesterday afternoon, I picked up my wife around 4 o'clock. She wanted to ride with me to fetch my son from school. It was very hot and I needed to make a stop for a bottled water. Looking for a convenient place to purchase the water, I decided to stop at Ms Ann's Foodtown on L.Rovira Rd., not far from my son's school.

It was the first time I'd ever stopped there, although I've passed by there several times. I noticed that they make their own piaya. I thought I'd give their brand a try. Eight piaya in a pack for 40 peso. The piaya was very delicious......really flaky.

For folks in the Dumaguete area, I've included a map showing the location of the bakeshop.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Scammer Grammar

I love email scammers.

It amazes me that these scammers believe anyone would fall for the crap they put forward. I received an email this morning from "Willie Chester" which tops my list for worst email scam of the year.

Can any native English speaker believe that the creator of this particular email is intelligent enough to have a job as a "Foreign operation manager" ?

I post the email exactly as it was sent to me:


Attention My Dear Customer,

 How are you today together with your family, This office write to inform you that your e-mail is well received and not too well understood to us, because you and i know that since the authority has sign and stamp that no money should be taking out from your total $400,000.00 {Four Hundred Thousand united States Dollars} until you received it complete.

This office don't have any (RIGHT) to deduct any money from your total fund since the authority has sign that, so my dear we advice you to try your possible best and see what to do and send the needed fee of $80.00 only in order to enable the Homeland Security go ahead and obtain the needed document on your behalf, because that is the only thing holding you as of now to start picking up your payment and you know that your first payment of $8000 is online waiting for you to pick up as soon as you send the needed fee of $80.00 to obtain the needed document on your behalf today.

We are waiting for your immediate respond once you Received this Mail and forward your details to us such as:

5. AGE:

Yours Sincerely,

Willie Chester
Foreign operation manager
United States (USA)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Google Map Edits

A little over a month ago, I was lamenting on this blog how haphard the Google Maps' system for reviewing and the publishing of edits onto their website. At that time, I could not understand why some edits were immediately published and why some edits went into the never-never land known as "in review".

At one time, it appeared that about half of my edits would be published as soon as I edited the location. Now, I suppose Google Maps has more confidence in my additions. As I write this, 100 of my location additons have been published with another 30 edits being published as well. That's much better. I haven't gotten to the point were 100% 0f my edits are published immediately, but now it is much, much better than 50% (probably between 75% and 80%).

Monday, October 17, 2016

NC Republican Headquarters Firebombed.....Blame Trump?

This weekend, a North Carolina Republican headquarters was firebombed and a swastika was spray painted onto an adjacent building. One of my first thoughts was that no sane person would try to connect the bombers with Hillary Clinton. Of course, Trump has already attempted just that. In a Tweet, he blamed "Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina" for the bombing.

The keyword here is sane. I stand by my earlier comment.

Where would the blame be placed had this been a Democrat location? I think we can safely say that Trump would have been blamed because of his "heated rhetoric". How do I know this? Kathleen Parker is already blaming Trump for post election riots which haven't even happened yet  and CNN's Brian Stelter is blaming Trump for the bombing of his own party's headquarters.

Wake me when this @#$!^ election is over.

Google Map Photos Surpass 200,000 Views

This morning, I awoke to find that the photos I've uploaded to Google Maps had topped two hundred thousand views. Not surprisingly, my photo of Manhattan Suites Inn in Dumaguete has remained the number one viewed photo that I've posted. With more than 8,000 views, it is unlikely to be overtaken by any of my other photos any time soon.

What is surprising to me is that my photo of Insular Hotel on Silliman Ave. has taken over third place. At the current rate of viewing, this photo could very well jump into second place very soon.

Note: Checking the stats two hours after posting this, the photo of Insular Hotel has indeed stepped up to 2nd place.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


To paraphrase a question asked by Coconuts Manila,
"What does a man need to do to be in the same league as Hillary Clinton, Beyonce, and Simone Biles"?

My answer, have his coconuts removed through sex reassignment surgery.

It's a good bet that Roman will not be singing the karaoke version of this number.

After Hillary Wins the Election.........

It's less than four weeks away from the 2016 election for POTUS, and like so many others, I will be happy to see November 9th, 2016 arrive.

I know I won't be happy with the final results of the election. That's an easy prediction because I can't bear to see either Clinton or Trump elected. Every minute of every day day, I'm bombarded with cries that I must vote for Clinton because Trump is even worse, as well as shouts that Hillary is an even greater evil than Donald. In trying to express how I hate the fact that one of these two douche bags will be elected President, words fail me.

As I look at the situation today, I believe Hillary will win the election. I don't say that because I want her to win....the U.S. will be up shit creek whichever one wins. Hillary will win because she is the 2nd most disliked Presidential candidate in American history running against the number 1 most disliked Presidential candidate in American history.

As much as I dislike President Obama, I can say that when he was elected in 2008, he was greatly loved by many, many people. Hillary will enter office as the most hated POTUS elected. She will be more unpopular on day one than Richard Nixon the day he resigned. She will be unable to unite the country.......unless, of course you consider how the country will be united in their dislike for her.

I don't believe she'll finish a first term; I believe she'll be impeached or forced to resign. Perhaps this is only wishful thinking, can Kaine be any worse?

The Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant

After experiencing disappointment and disgust with the last novel I read [An American Bigot in King Arthur's Court], I thought I might look around for a collection of short stories to cleanse my mind of Mark Twain's bigotry. While searching the Internet, I discovered Guy de Maupassant.

According to the wikipedia article covering de Maupassant, he is considered to be one of the fathers of the modern short story, influencing two of my favorites, Somerset Maugham and O. Henry.

Going to Project Gutenberg, I downloaded the Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant in one ebook. This ebook contains 13 volumes of short stories. I've nearly finished reading the first volume which contains twelve stories - including Boule de Suif, considered by some to be his masterpiece.

As I write this, I've only one short story in volume one remaining. I haven't personally counted the number of titles making up the 13 volumes, but the wikipedia article says de Maupassant wrote 300 short stories. If that's the case, I've quite a long way to go. This being the middle of October, this collection of short stories might very well be the last book I read this year.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trump Inducted into Rock n Roll Hall of Fame

OK, I made that up, but with the latest news concerning Bob Dylan, I couldn't resist.

I first learned that Bob Dylan had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature from the blog Abbey Roads. My reaction to the post was this comment:

"Well, if Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama deserve a Noble Peace Prize then I guess Dylan deserves the Nobel Prize in Literature".

While most folks appear to be pleased with his selection, I'm not the only person on the planet who finds Dylan winning a Noble Prize for anything more than a bit bizarre.

Writer Irvine Welsh had this to say -

"I’m a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies".

In the Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, literary critic Per Svensson wrote,

"This is a 'trumpification' of the Nobel Prize. It's very depressing."

I never imagined I'd ever read a comparison between Bob Dylan and Donald Trump, but Svensson's comment seems appropriate.

See also:

A world that gives Bob Dylan a Nobel Prize is a world that nominates Trump for president

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Duterte's Smoking Ban

When I first came across an article, linked to on Facebook, reporting how Philippine President Duterte was planning on issuing a nationwide ban on smoking cigarettes in public, I wasn't sure if the story was factual or if it was just another Internet Duterte rumor. After a little research I discovered that the story is indeed true.

My American neighbor and I were discussing the news; we're both non-smokers and the ban wouldn't affect either of us, but we were both curious about whether or not the President actually had the legal authority to institute the cigarette ban. Evidentially, he does.

 According to report:

"Davao city, which enforced a successful smoking ban under Duterte's mayorship, is being touted as a role model.
The health secretary said that the smoking ban in Davao worked because the city government strictly enforced it and created a task force of enforcers specifically to implement the ban.
It will be up to provinces and towns to determine if they will follow that example, and what penalties they will impose for violators, she said".

There will be outdoor designated areas for smoking and smokers will still be permitted to indulge in the privacy of their homes.

Unlike in the U.S., smokers in Philippines don't normally purchase cigarettes by the pack; more often, a smoker will buy individual cigarettes - by the "stick". I often see Filipinos buying a stick at a sari-sari store where the owner of the sari-sari will have a cigarette lighter secured near the window so the buyer can light his stick before leaving the store front. With the ban on public smoking, it'll make it a bit difficult for these smokers to get a light - unless, of course, they start buying matches or lighters.

The ban is said to have been brought about because of a concern about second hand smoke. That's all well and good, but I wonder if Duterte has plans to attack a more prevalent hazard from smoke - I'm speaking of the common Filipino habit of burning rubbish outdoors. Some days, when more than one neighbor is burning leaves or trash, the neighborhood can become quite smoky. The volume of smoke from these fires is more bothersome than the second hand smoke I've come across from cigarettes.

Oh, yeah.....while he's at it. maybe the President can do something about all the stray dogs that roam the streets.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Progressives Hate Catholics......What Else is New?

Hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and released by WikiLeaks demonstrate the loathing Progressives have for conservative Catholics and Evangelicals.

In an email exchange between Podesta, John Halpin and Clinton campaign Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri, Catholic teachings are trashed as "backwards" and conservative Catholics are termed responsible for "an amazing bastardization of the faith".

Although Hillary Clinton isn't directly involved in this particular email exchange, the emails come from individuals highly placed in the Clinton campaign. It doesn't take a genius to understand that Clinton holds similar views toward Catholics. No one who has followed Hillary Clinton for any length of time should be at all surprised by anything revealed in these emails.

How Much is that Doggie on the Piggery?

While I've spent a lot of my spare time taking photos to be uploaded to Google Maps, I've been neglectful in my updating photos for this blog, concerning the pigs and our our property in Magatas. I had an errand to run out at the property this afternoon, so I took a few photos while there.

When we had finished the new digs for two of the pigs a new gate was added - of course - and I needed to purchase a lock for that gate. When we last bought the 100 kilos of commercial pig feed, we also bought three large plastic garbage cans, with lids to keep rats from getting into the feed. I also purchased a new lock and chain. I found out that day that we'd also need a new lock for the bahay kubo where we store the feed.

Bringing that additional lock was the errand that took me to the property this afternoon. When I arrived, I saw one of Papa's dogs perched upon the piggery much like Snoopy perched upon his doghouse. Luckily for the dog, the chain around his neck is long enough to permit such escapades.

My wife's Papa also has a few chickens on the property. The photos below show the chicks, inside a cage, taken a month ago and a photo of the chicks, outside the cage, taken today.

When I arrived at the property, the pigs were squealing like they were hungry. I went inside the bahay kubo and gave each a half ration of feed. I was reasonably sure that they had not received their afternoon feeding, but I was equally sure that my wife's Papa would be by later to feed them and I didn't want to risk them having double rations. Inside the bahay kubo, I saw a fighting rooster tied to a beam. He'll probably be sold and I guess he's too valuable to be tied up outside. Sorry, I didn't take a photo of the rooster.

Oct 12th Update on Uploaded Photos

Seven weeks ago, I received my first email from Google Maps letting me know that photos I had uploaded to the Google Maps website had received more than 5,000 views. The photos in question were ones I had taken of the St Anthony of Padua parish church in Sibulan, Negros Oriental. At the time of that first email, the photos had been online for more than a year. Looking back, that's quite a long time to reach that 5,000 view milestone, but considering that we're talking about a church in Sibulan, I thought 5,000 views impressive.

That email opened up a new hobby for me. I began posting photos for Google Maps in a serious way. In those seven weeks, I've uploaded more than a thousand photos. In the latest email update from Google Maps, I'm told my photos have been viewed over 150,000 times. When the email was written, it showed that the photos had been viewed just over 175,000 times. In the short time between the creation of that email update and my receiving the email, the view total had reached almost 180,000.

As I've mentioned more than once, my rather modest photo of Manhattan Suites Inn in Dumaguete has overtaken the lead in number of views. With more than 7,500 views, none of my other photos are even close.

My most popular photo of the Catholic Church in Sibulan has long ago lost its first place status. As I write this, seven other photos have surpassed it in views.

After I take my son to school this morning, I'll be going downtown to take additional photos for Google Maps. The 1000 plus photos that I've already uploaded cover 504 different locations. While Dumaguete isn't a particularly large city, I still have lots of locations to capture.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Foreigners Prefer Clinton Over Trump for POTUS

As I've observed before, one need only look at an individual's photo accompanying a news story pertaining to that person to find out if the story will be positive or negative. In the photo used in this UPI story, the stock photo of Hillary Clinton attempts to put her in a favorable light, while the stock photo of Trump is blurry and unflattering. It's the way of "journalism" today.

In the story, it's reported that, according to a recent poll, foreigners would overwhelmingly prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump if they were able to vote for POTUS. The UPI story is quick to point out that the lone exception is Russia, which prefers Trump to Clinton.

Lets look back, however to 2008 when the world adored Barack Obama. He was the favorite of foreigners everywhere. We see how well that worked out.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Two Terrifying Halloween Costumes

This morning, a friend on Facebook posted a Halloween costume video and the video immediately reminded me of a costume I wore to a Halloween-slash-birthday party back in 2009. In a post mentioning the costume, I published a photo of me dressed as an illegal alien and my friend Lowell wearing a clown costume.

When we donned those costumes seven years ago, I was aware that my illegal alien costume might be considered by some to be political insensitive, but this was in the day when illegal aliens weren't automatically linked with terrorism by very many folks. Today, not only have terrorists and illegal aliens been linked together in the political realm but now, clown costumes have been banned in some areas as 'symbols of terror'  as well.

When we made the clown with illegal alien photo, we had no idea that the two would be connected by 'terror' in 2016. I wish I could say that we were ahead of our time, but having the two costumes together in on Halloween photo was simply a coincidence........I think.

Besides, aren't Halloween costumes supposed to be terrifying? I thought that was the point.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Few Thoughts on the Anti-Catholic Bigotry in American Politics

It what was clearly a display of anti-Catholic bigotry, the lede posted on Drudge Report claimed that Pope Francis "mocks America 2016". The lede went on to say that America, "Does not have much political culture"

Even without reading the article linked to, the idea that America "Does not have much political culture" hardly seems to be mockery. Upon reading the actual story, we find that Pope Francis "advised U.S. Catholics who feel they are torn between two imperfect candidates for president to study and pray before they vote and to make sure to follow their conscience".

The article quotes the pope as saying, "You have asked me a question that describes a difficult choice because, according to you, there are difficulties with one and difficulties with the other." That's certainly true, and I'm sure every thoughtful, non biased American would agree.

Drudge is probably upset that Pope Francis did not openly slam Hillary and endorse Trump.

Unfortunately, the Right in the U.S. is overtly anti-Catholic. Of course, the American Left is equally bigoted toward the Catholic Church, although the reasons for their bigotry is different. The United States was founded on Protestantism; the Liberal, political side is heavily influenced by Anglicanism while the more Conservative pols have an Evangelical fringe element.

Faithful Catholics have little opportunity in American politics. If a Catholic wants to succeed in politics, he or she must abandon the Church. Sadly, there's plenty of those types of Catholics in the Democrat Party, as Hillary's vice-presidential pick demonstrates.

Update on photos Uploaded to Google Maps

On September 15, when I last posted about the status of the photos I've uploaded to Google Maps, my photos had been viewed slightly more than 65,000 times. Now, less that 3 weeks later, my photos have received almost 135,000 views.

As before, my photo of Manhattan Suites Inn in Dumaguete remained the photo receiving the most views with 5600 plus views. As I predicted, Ceres Liner Terminal and Check-in Pension Plaza took over the 2nd and 3rd spots. One of my photos of San Antonio Parish Church in Sibulan, which had long been the favorite dropped to 5th place, with one of my photos of Silliman University Medical center taking the 4th place position.

All in all, 20 of my photos have exceeded 1000 views. Of course, I'm not getting any sort of prize for all this, but I do take a bit of pride in the fact that so many of my photos of Dumaguete and Sibulan have received attention.

One can see the photos by clicking here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

An American Bigot in King Arthur's Court

I mentioned in an earlier post, that having abandoned Ben Hur, I began reading Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. When I began that post, I wrote that I had read the Twain novel over 50 years ago. Now that I'm head long into reading it, I realize that I couldn't have finished reading the book all those many years ago. I have a reasonably strong memory of the "eclipse episode", but that's all I can remember. I'm pretty sure that had I actually finished the novel, I would have recalled more that I have.

Be that as it may, one of my great disappointments was my having become aware of Mark Twain's strong anti-Catholic bias in The Innocents Abroad. The wikipedia article on Twain puts it down to the general anti-Catholic sentiment of 19th century America. However, Twain cannot hide his hatred of the Catholic Church in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

It was not until reading the above mentioned wikipedia article that I learned Twain was a Freemason. Being a member of that organization goes a long way to explaining why Twain was so enthusiastic about his anti-Catholicism.

Quick, Change the Channel

One of the most popular and long lasting day time television programs in Philippines is Eat Bulaga!. It's been on the air for more than 30 years, and can be seen, around lunch time, six days a week.

The program is basically a variety show with comedy, dancing and music. My wife and our domestic helper love the program and they're tuned in whenever it's on the air.

I have been, for the most part, neutral concerning the show. Because of the language differences, I don't understand most of the comedy. The music isn't quite the sort I'd normally listen to, but it isn't absolutely horrible.

I've never felt the desire, before today, to comment on the program. There's been a "meme" of sorts on the show recently, which I can't leave alone. I don't know when it started, but I've noticed recently that the program is featuring, on a regular basis, men wearing high heel shoes while dancing and performing musical numbers.

I don't like this one bit.