Once a Bosconian, always a Bosconian

January 31st marks the 119th death anniversary of Saint John Bosco, the “Father and Teacher of Youth” and the founder of the Salesian Society otherwise known as the Salesians of Don Bosco.

This day is special to me primarily because of my being a Bosconian, and proud of it. I’ve been one for the greater part of my life. I’ve spent most of my formative and schooling years studying at Don Bosco schools, with a few other schools mixed in between levels. I finished my grade school and high school years at Don Bosco Academy, in Pampanga. And I took up computer engineering at Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong City.

Come to think of it, most of my relatives are Bosconians (you never say one “was” a Bosconian, since once you get to be one, you always will be). The brothers four, (as me and my brothers are called), my uncles, cousins, and even Conne’s cousins, bear the same ‘mark’.

Having said that, you can bet all your marbles that my son CJ will probably end up being one too. Amen.

5 ‘toothy’ facts about sharks

Since I’m still waiting for Conne to arrive from her WIG Session meeting, here are five interesting tooth-related facts about sharks.

Do you know that:

1. New teeth are constantly being formed in rows in a shark’s jaw. Shark’s teeth are normally replaced every eight days.

2. Some species of sharks can shed as many as 30,000 teeth in their lifetime.

3. Whale Sharks have approximately 300 rows of teeth, with hundreds of tiny teeth in each row.

4. A significant physical trait that separates a modern shark from an ancient shark is the protrusile jaw, which gives the modern shark more biting force.

5. A shark’s skin is embedded with dermal denticles, which resemble teeth.

If you want to verify if these bits of information are true, please be my guest, ask your friendly neighborhood shark and let me know how it goes. ;-p

20 Shark Facts About Sharks

Office relocation – An IT guy’s perspective

DWH will be expanding its operations and will therefore be relocating its Philippine office in a couple of weeks. We’ve kept our hands quite busy with the office relocation project. We’ve currently leased two floors (3rd and 4th) from a building across the street from our current office location. And a lot of renovation activities are currently ongoing as of this writing. You can see from the 3rd floor snapshots taken from the relocation site last December 2006 that there has been a lot of renovation and civil works done.

We’ll be going for a hybrid network this time. It’ll be a mix of Wireless (or WiFi) and traditional ‘wired’ networking (10/100/1000BaseT).

One challenge we faced was to design and provide a scalable, reliable, fast and secure, yet cost effective (yes, there always has to be a hitch), networking environment. And since we plan to have a wireless environment, there were a lot of performance-related issues and security concerns that we had to factor in with our design.

Barring any unforeseen delays, we hope to relocate everyone by the 2nd week of February. So this means we have to get the data center, network, telephony and security infrastructures up and running without a hitch. Oh boy.

How to avoid sore throat at work and be productive

Have you ever had any lingering sore throat problems? It’s possible that your workplace environment could be the culprit.

One of the key issues a company has to tackle to help improve overall workforce health and productivity is to provide them with a workplace conducive for work. This equates to providing good work environment ergonomics and comfortable environmental working conditions.

If you work in nigh-freezing conditions then apparently, too much exposure to the super-cool air conditioning exhaust can be detrimental to your health. Even taking the proverbial “apple a day” would have been futile.

So how do you prevent sickness? It should be fairly easy. For example, it’s always a good idea to have additional pieces of clothing handy, such as jackets, in your workspace. And it wouldn’t hurt if you get out, stretch, have a hot cup of coffee or tea, or even smoke (although this can lead to a different health problem altogether) if you feel it gets too cold. But the best thing that you can probably do is to approach management and inform them of the situation. Any good employer should be able to come up with a solution, and if they don’t, then it’s a sign for you to seek employment elsewhere, since you’re probably working for the wrong people anyway.

Some companies have a Productivity Infrastructure plan that aims to improve overall employee wellbeing and productivity. It’s a testament that these companies value its employees above all else.

Your astrology and your temper

Can you control your anger? Do you find it easy?

One of the things that I’ve been struggling to control is my temper. History has proven that I often do stupid things when I get into a fit of rage, really stupid things. But stupid, by my own definition, does not mean physically beating someone up. I have sworn never do that, unless of course if I do it in self defense.

Instead, this stupid jerk often focuses his anger on other things, like inanimate objects. I’ve lost count of how many personal mobile phones I’ve smashed and walls I’ve bashed. A few years ago, I once vented my ire on an unsuspecting laptop and sent it to notebook heaven. And I have most especially lost track of how many times I’ve regretfully and shamefully come to realize my stupidity, and most importantly, my weakness.

Going back to my previous post on Chinese Astrology. I am a fire dragon personified. Which leads me to re-think of ways on how to handle my temper. My fuse is long, but it’s the “dragon fire” at the end that worries me.

I don’t know how long it’ll take me to finally master my temper, but I do pray that it will be sometime soon. I know that I’ve made some improvements over the years, but I feel that it’s about time to take it to the finish line. And I am confident that with Conne’s love, understanding and support, and with God’s blessings, I can someday put this to rest.

I love you Conne, and I’m sorry.

Related Blog Entry:
The Shark, the Dragon and the Pig

Simply Seven – 07/07/07

The number seven (7) seems to be our lucky number (ask Conne and she’ll give you a million reasons why it’s so). Actually, the number 2 also ranks almost as high in the ‘dumb luck’ category. And so it was a no-brainer for me and Conne to to mark 07/07/07 as one very special day in our calendars. Juggle these up all you want, you’ll still get the same date no matter what date format you use.

Wikipedia points out some of the interesting facts on how the number 7 figures significantly in everyday things.

Why cars fall off highways

How good a driver are you? Can you honestly rate yourself as above average?

An armored van that fell off the Metro Manila Skyway made the news a couple of days ago. This is the second reported incident in a year’s time of a vehicle falling off the elevated thoroughfare. What’s troubling is that the vehicles that fell landed on top of, and crushed, other unsuspecting vehicles driving underneath. Are there any deaths or injuries? It’s a certainty.

The cause of these similar accidents were attributed to the drivers losing control of their vehicles after driving way too fast, which is quite common for cars cruising along this virtual ‘speed zone’. Most drivers would rather choose to drive ‘by the seat of their pants’ rather than practice defensive driving techniques. Interestingly, according to some Car magazines like Car and Driver Magazine, most drivers think that they are better than the average driver even if their driving habits really show how mediocre they are.

Heck, most drivers don’t even know how to use the turn signal, and these are usually the one’s who speed by you and cut you off as a means of showing off their driving ‘skills’. You shouldn’t ride with them even if they paid you to. The fact that they can’t do a decent turn signal means that their brains can’t handle multitasking (look, signal and turn, look, signal and turn – it’s easy, right?). Which means that they’d choke and crash if an accident happens right in front of them, because you can bet that their evasive driving decision skills are off par too.

I was flipping through my phone picture gallery and saw this picture of CJ astride a steering wheel. The picture is really cute, but it dawned on me that he’ll be driving his own car someday. And the sad incidents above showed me the importance of educating him on how to be a responsible driver in the future. In short, I wouldn’t want him to fall off the road, or be crushed by a falling car. Not in any lifetime. Literally and figuratively. How about you?

Do cars fall off trees? Apparently not, but they do fall off skyways.

Parenting 101: Babies and canker sores

Last Monday, our 14 month old son had a fever which lasted a couple of days. CJ was very cranky, agitated, and had no appetite during the course of his fever. We eventually found out what the culprit was – a Canker Sore or mouth sore, which is otherwise locally referred to in the Philippines as “singaw”.

It’s no wonder he didn’t want to eat. Eating was a very painful experience and so he preferred liquids over solid food. He’d cry every now and then and we couldn’t tell why. We verified this with CJ’s pediatrician and assured us that there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. He gave us some helpful instructions on how to ease the pain. Whew! We’re glad it’s finally over with. It’s another lesson learned from Parenting 101.

Other Sources:
eHow: How to Treat Canker Sores

Asian internet slowdown

Browsing the internet has been a nuisance for the past 3 weeks if you’re from the Asia Pacific region. Most Asian countries are still suffering from the aftermath of the quake that recently hit the region, which damaged undersea communications cables off the coast of Taiwan. The slowdown comes as a minor headache to the casual internet user, but for internet junkies and IT network administrators, this is one nightmare that one hopes to quickly wake up from.

In some networks, sites that have traditionally been the quickest to load, such as Google, took a massive dive in web page download speed and performance. In contrast, some bandwidth-intensive sites (streaming media, ftp download sites) can be accessed quite easily.

So why am I so pissed off? It’s simple. Our good ole’ Blogger is one such affected site. Bummer.

Shark Fact – Great white shark

Great White Sharks are a very large species of shark. They are streamlined swimmers, and have a torpedo-shaped body with a pointed snout.

Scientific Name: Carcharodon Carcharias

Great whites are also known as white pointer, white shark, or white death. They are found in coastal surface waters in all major oceans. Reaching lengths of about 6 meters (20 ft) and weighing almost 2,000 kilograms (4,400 lb), the great white shark is the world’s largest known predatory fish. It is the only known surviving species of its genus, Carcharodon.