My birthday boy

CJ’s growing up real fast. I can’t believe he’s a year old already. We’re glad that he’s at the pink of health and his development in terms of mental and physical capabilities is astounding. Watching him grow up is definitely one of my life’s joys.

We’re very thankful for this first year. CJ’s journey from infancy to toddlerhood has had its ups and downs. He had a few bumps and bruises here and there, but this hasn’t stopped him from being the brave, confident, bubbly and curious toddler that he is.

His interests vary. He’ll rather have the entire house as a playground instead of being couped up with toys in one corner of the room. We tried putting him in front of a TV, but it’ll only last a minute. He’d rather run, jump and make noise and play with the grownups. But he really lights up when there are other kids around.

There are days when he’d dash to the window and do a full scan of the sky with arms a-pointing if he hears a plane jet by, “maaamaaa” “deeedeee” “whoooo-whoooo”. The same routine holds true if he sees lizards in the ceilings too. (Did I just make a rhyme?)

He’s growing up to be a handsome and adorable kid. Strangers even ask to have his picture taken with them at public places like malls. And we’ve gotten to know quite a few people this way. It’s really quite funny and interesting. 🙂

A typical weekday routine goes this way: He’d wave and say “bye” every time we leave for work. What’s hard is he’d cry too. And when we come home at night, he’d rush to meet us and squeal to his heart’s content. And if we happen to come home late, he’ll make an effort stay awake as much as possible to greet mom and dad. This makes us particularly look forward to the weekends to spend more time with him.

Parenthood definitely has its challenges and perks. And I’m definitely looking forward to the coming years.

To my anak, CJ, daddy’s here to say, “Happy Birthday! We thank the Lord for bringing you into our lives. We love you!”

SMART Goals

As discussed in some of my previous post, goal-setting can sometimes be a daunting task. Here’s a technique that I find helpful for setting goals. Always keep in mind that a good or clearly defined goal should be SMART.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Specific. A specific goal has a greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Specific goals help us focus our efforts by clearly defining what we are going to do. For example, a general goal would be, “Maintain server uptime.” A specific goal would be, “Ensure that the mail server’s POP3 email service has 99.97% uptime per month.” It should generally be able to answer questions like: Who? What? Where? When? Which? Why?

Measurable. Here’s a helpful phrase to remember: “What you cannot measure, you cannot manage.” There should be a way to measure or determine, at any given time, if there has been any progress towards achieving the goal. On the email server POP3 service uptime example given above, you can measure its status by using a 3rd-party service monitoring and reporting tool or application.

Attainable. There should be a balance as to how achievable a certain goal has to be set. Good goals should not be impossible to attain, yet it should not be as easy as eating pie. Goals that are too far out of reach often causes a person to lose focus or commitment to achieving it. It should be able to stretch you slightly and it will need a real commitment from you. And being attainable means that the goal has yet to be achieved, and not one that has already been done. The POP3 service example given above can fit into this criteria.

Realistic. A realistic goal is means that you are sure that it can be accomplished. This means that you are willing and able to work towards achieving it. One way to determine if a goal is realistic is if you were able to accomplish something similar in the past.

Timely. Or Time-bound. A good goal generally has a timeframe in mind. Putting an endpoint gives you a clear target to work towards. A clear timeframe also encourages you to commit and not put it off at a later date.

Some people have different meanings for the SMART acronyms. R can mean Relevant, and T can mean Tangible. You can swap these meanings depending on the context of the goal that you want to achieve.

Of books and trees and Reyes leather

This weekend was pretty interesting. We didn’t go out today. And it was because of Manny Pacquiao. We usually go on picnics or go joy riding on a Sunday. But the routine for this Sunday was sideswiped by the Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales fight, among others.

Item one: I’ve started reading a very interesting book on investing (Rich Dad’s Guide To Investing -What The Rich Invest In by Robert Kiyosaki). I was so engrossed with reading it last night that I didn’t realize that I was able to peruse half of its contents in one sitting. The book pretty much reminds me how far I still have to go to be successful in financial investing and in putting up a business. I was able to put up a business once. It didn’t pick up as I had initially envisioned it to perform. But reading the book helped me put things in perspective. I now know that there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this initial failure.

Item two: We were also finally able to put up our christmas tree. CJ went ‘berzerk’ when we switched the christmas lights on. He really loved it. His ear-splitting shrieks and coos and finger pointing were dead giveaways. And now for the toughie question of the week (or year): “How the hell are we supposed to protect the tree from CJ?” Ha! Now that’s a tough one. Firewalls and ACL’s won’t work brotha…..

Item three: Going back to boxing. I was expecting Pacman to win the fight in 8 or 10 rounds and was really surprised with the outcome. Morales looked really tired while Pacquiao looked menacing and I knew that ‘El Terrible’ would lose via KO. In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t push through with buying pay-per-view tickets for the Pacquiao fight. The three-round demolition job is too quick a ‘movie’ for me to realy say if I got my money’s worth. Ha! Sour grapes! Who am I kidding? I wished I could have seen it live. Anyway, congratulations Manny! Mabuhay ka!

Tsk. Tsk. ‘Twas a routine weekend gone awry…. who cares? 😉

The waiting game

It’s getting to be quite long day for me. But I don’t mind. It’s been a while since I stayed late at work. And I kind of missed it. I haven’t really been that much of an office bum since I went back to working in Manila. And tonight, I owe it all to Conne. She’s in one of those girls-night-out things with her friends, which I, surprisingly, would like to encourage. I really don’t mind it at all, except for the fact that she texted me saying they were having dinner at Bubba Gump’s. Darn it! Slurp…..

I’ve been craving for that seafood and shrimp feast for a few days now. All I had tonight was chicken and soup at Jollibee. :-p Oh well, I reckon that’s enough fuel for my wracked brain. I’ve spent almost the entire day trying to map out ways integrate our test Asterisk server with some of our core systems. Sheesh. Oh surely I missed this stuff! Once a tech-head, always a tech-head. I’m bound to get my hands dirty sooner or later. :-p

I hope Conne’s having a great time. At Bubba’s, I know I would. 😉

To party or not to party? And then some…

CJ’s first birthday is next week, the 22nd. But we still can’t quite figure out how to celebrate it. Should we splurge? Or should we keep it simple yet solemn? As a parent, it’s really hard to decide especially when there are a lot of things to consider.

But I’m really happy and proud of him. He’s growing up so fast that we can’t keep tabs on how many bumps and bruises he’s had while doing things toddlers usually do, which is, to wreak havoc on everything that comes their way. 🙂

We love his “lambing” ways and are always amazed at his aptitude for learning things real fast. I hope he maintains this learning curve. And while he’s doing it, learning about the world around him, I’ll be sure to guide him every step of the way.

DWH Townhall

I attended my first DirectWithHotels (DWH) company townhall meeting yesterday. I was one of the 10 or so new zimmies introduced that day. Well, I really didn’t need any introduction for most of my fellow zimmies, considering that I am the reigning “Miss DWH” title holder. This was from a mock pageant held during our last company outing at Caylabne Resort a few weeks back, where males were the participants instead of females. Ha! What a humiliating, yet interesting, experience.

A lot of things were presented to the group. Questions as to where the company is heading, what business strategy will be used, and how it is doing performance-wise were answered.

Management also saw the need to educate people on the specific job functions of each DWH business and service unit as well as highlight a specific zimmie.

All in all, I got to know more interesting facts about DWH and my colleagues. I knew that I made the right career-path decision.

All Saints Day

I spent the entire All Saint’s Day at home. I don’t usually go cemetery-hopping to honor and pray for the dead, since I don’t have a relative’s grave nearby to go to in the first place!

My dad, a fighter pilot, was presumed to have died at sea in the vicinity of the Palawan Islands. This was were his plane was assumed to have crashed on March 16th of 1983. After a few years of searching, the government wasn’t really able to pinpoint where his plane went. And so his “Missing-in-Action” status was finally changed to “Presumed Dead” five years after that fateful day.

We would have loved to have given him a proper burial. And I understand and empathize with people who cry barrels-full of tears at funerals, especially coming from the departed’s next of kin. Well, at least they get to see their dad finally rested. And I guess this is why, for so many years, I hated going to cemeteries and “envied” people who partake of the yearly tradition.

It’s a good thing Conne and CJ were able to keep me company at home. I had them all to myself. Oh well, I can always try the graveyard rounds next year. This year is for praying at home.