Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Home Office

Found these $1 whiteboard-surface sheets a while back and thought they'd be great as a temporary writing board for my home-office-slash-Swe-cha's-study-room.

I didn't use them right away so I forgot I even had them until last night when I quickly needed some scratch paper to keep track of my weekend re-indexing for work.

As soon as the "whiteboard" was up, someone immediately commandeered half so I decided to stick that extra piece that I had below my board so Swe-cha can use it too.

Poke-gym realizations

So hubby and I have joined the latest craze, Pokemon-Go .

I've been reading up bits and pieces but it just goes to show that you learn more about a game and think up best strategies while you're actually playing it.

Last weekend, some friends organized an attack on a nearby gym. We all went there, attacked (it was super easy to defeat the gym defenders!) and took over the gym. I didn't really know what I was doing, just kept tapping on the screen and whatever icons happened to come out. At one point, one of the kids who were with us glanced at what I was doing and said "you're not even attacking, Tita Popcorn, you're just moving around.".

Haha, kaya pala akala ko madali lang.

They showed me how to get to the store and check out the gold coins you earned for defending the gym.

After that get-together, I sort of had an idea of what to do now. But it wasn't until afterwards, when I started going out and attacking gyms myself when it dawned on me what A said previously. She had made a comment on how we should've entered the weaker pokemons first, that would give a chance for the stronger ones to kill them.

I didn't get the point because we were on the same team, why'd there be a need to defeat the defenders ?

It wasn't until I actually went out and attacked gyms myself and tried to hold them when I realized the A's point.

- You can't fight in a gym until you get to level 5 and pick a team - red, blue or yellow.

- When you see a Pokemon Gym, there is a level indicator. The level tells how many pokemons are currently defending the gym. For example, a level 5 gym will have 5 monsters defending it. A level 2 will have 2 defending it and so on.

- A gym can either be unclaimed (soft gray / white color) or claimed, in which case it will show a badge in the color of the team currently holding it.

- If you have a pokemon parked in a or defending a gym, you earn 10 coins for every day that you hold the gym. Coins can be withdrawn once every 21 hours (there is a timer), you can only get coins for gyms you are currently defending. This means that even if you have been in the gym for a long time but was defeated just before you got to withdraw your coins, you lose them all.

- When you have a pokemon assigned to a gym, you cannot use that pokemon elsewhere. This is where I realized that having 1 strong pokemon of each type isn't enough. You'll need more than 1 if you plan to use it to defend a gym.

- There's no use attacking and holding a gym if there's just you. 1 pokemon isn't enough to hold on to a gym if someone starts attacking. It's better to look for a gym that's currently being held by your team already and when you initiate a friendly fight, it is a training session. Defeating pokemon(s) in a friendly team's gym will increase the prestige points of the team in that gym and eventually will level up the gym. This adds a spot which you can then quickly claim.

And yes, there is nothing stopping someone with very good timing coming in at the last moment and claiming that spot for himself even if he wasn't the one who worked to create that spot.

and this brings me to the next part of my post....

Remember that gym I mentioned attacking and claiming at the start of my post ? Anyway, at some point while I was still there, someone started attacking me. It wasn't difficult because it was only a level 1 gym and only had 1 monster defending it. I watched my pokemon die and saw the gym turn white / gray color that indicates it is unclaimed.

I clicked on it and then that little icon on the corner that lets you put someone inside and was so surprised to see that I actually got to claim it again! As I watched the gym get attacked again, I quickly healed my other monsters and got ready to step in and claim the gym again right after it gets defeated.

Hubby and I were cackling with glee and were so amused at what we considered to be pure evil genius moves. It was super fun.

Repeat 15x +++

It did get tiring after the nth time. And seriously, I did wonder how long i was going to want to sustain it ? But pride pushed me to stay. Eventually, the attacker gave up and I left too.

I defeated 2 other gyms afterwards, held them for a short period of time and realized that I was wasting my time because I was going to get defeated again as soon as I left. So I went and looked for a gym that was already being held by my team. It was a level 5 with 1 pokemon that I could defeat (all the others were too strong!). It took me more than 10 training sessions because since I could only defeat one monster each time, I was only increasing the prestige points a little at a time. I eventually got it to level up and was able to enter a monster.

Let's see how long this lasts.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Free checks

Received an email from my bank with the subject line "Important Information about your Account" this evening. Normally, I'd ignore these but tonight, I decided open it and read it. Boy, am I glad I did! I write a lot of checks (mostly for my child's daycare fees) and enjoy the free checks I get from my bank.

The email states that any check reorders after a certain date are not free anymore, we'd just get a few dollars off.

It's actually great timing because I'm down to my last booklet so I'm about to ask for a reorder in a few weeks anyway.

So I quickly call my bank's hotline and requested new checks. The agent asks, do you want 100 or 400 ? We can actually give you up to 400 new checks for free.

I want the free 400 checks, of course!

and now, I am going around the house with a wide smile plastered across my face. It's nice when life hands out freebies every now and then.

It almost makes me forget the shame I felt when I stalled the car on my way home today. I was so smug when I drove hubby's manual transmission car to the office (my regular car is off for a service) this morning and things went smoothly. I felt that driving stick-shift again after more than decade was just like getting back on a bike - easy, instinctive and uncomplicated so long as you don't think about it.

Bawal mayabang. Lesson learned =)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Glass shards

A little over 2 weeks ago, I had a small wound on the side of my foot. It seemed more like a puncture than a wound, I squeezed to let some blood out  ( thinking that it might cleanse the wound ), bathed the wound in alcohol and then sealed it with some liquid bandage. I didn't even notice when / where it happened and only felt the wound when I applied pressure on that part of my foot, I didn't know where and how I got it so it quickly went out of my mind.

A few days later, I got wounded again. This time, a little bit of skin/flesh was sliced off from my little toe. I was at the kitchen when it happened and it happened when I stepped on something sharp. After I'd controlled the bleeding and bandaged my wound, I got down on my hands and knees to look for the culprit. I found a glass shard.

That night, I showed it to hubby who responded with a "aaah, so that's where it went". Ayun pala, he was washing dishes a few days before and dropped a drinking glass. The glass didn't completely break but the lip was chipped and he's been looking for the pieces ever since.

And yes, he forgot to tell me about it.

Fast forward 2 weeks, my 2nd wound had already healed nicely - the one that had the skin sliced off and was the more painful one - had already healed and was dry. I was even able to get a pedicure and never felt anything at all. But the first one (the one that felt & looked like a small puncture) was still bothering me. I still feel a sharp pain every now and then when I step and put pressure on that area.

Reminded of a story that friend E told me about his wife having been injured when she stepped on something at the beach and the wound had not healed nicely even after several weeks, it turned out that glass particles were still left behind INSIDE the wound and the doctor had to open it up again and clean it up. I began to suspect that my first wound might have been caused by glass shards too and that it might still be in.

I disinfected some sharp implements with alcohol, braced myself and proceeded to break the skin on Wound 1. I poked around  with the tweezers and felt something  - it was tiny piece of glass splinter. I've pulled it out, rewashed and rebandaged my foot. I feel much better now.

Hubby has been reprimanded.

Next time, pag may nabasag, magwalis/vacuum/swiffer/whaever and to tell me! Thankfully, it was me who got injured and not our child.

Friday, June 17, 2016


Yesterday afternoon, I saw Swe-cha playing with his Thomas & Friends Miniature engines - Rex and Mike - and realized that Bert, the 3rd and last miniature engine, might be available now. When we got him Rex and Mike last year, hindi pa kasi available.

I checked only and saw that the die cast version (we prefer the take n play compared to the wooden ones) has already been released so I ordered it for delivery next week.

Kaya lang, Swe-cha didn't seem to realize that he will have to wait. I explained that we'll haveto wait for the mailman to come with the box next week and he immediately rushed down and started going through the boxes I have in the foyer (my other purchases which I have not opened yet). 

When he didn't find Bert, he came to me and asked,.. 

And because I couldn't make him understand that he has to wait until next week, I decided to lay it all on the husband's shoulders and told Swe-cha to wait for his daddy.

He then stopped bothering me, pulled a chair to the bay window to wait and declared "My Daddy's coming home, where's the Bert ?".

I called hubby and gave him a heads up. Thinking that today, Friday, is Swe-cha's graduation day and that we don't have a present anyway, he decided to drop by the toy store to see if he can get one quickly. Bert wasn't available so he got Oliver, a different train.

When he got home, he was rushed by Swe-cha who opened the door for him and immediately started searching in his bag.

Hubby says "We don't have Bert, you have to wait. Do you want Oliver instead?"

Swe-cha says "No."

Hubby: "who do you want ?"

Swe-cha says "Bert"

Hubby: "how about Oliver?"

Swecha: "No"

and that was the end of the Bert discussion/conversation and he moved on to a different toy. 
No tantrums. Okay rin, he made me so proud.

As for Oliver, he's going back to the store.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Losing our marbles

My friends and family know how much I hate to throw things away.

I have this mindset that things are "sayang" if they're still usable, I cannot bear to just throw them out. I save and save and hope to be able to reuse/recycle and/or give them away to someone who needs them later.

For the longest time, I've been racking my brains as to what to do with old prescription bottles. Between hubby and I (okay... mostly me), we do rack up a lot of these empty bottles over time.

I have various sizes and they have child-proof caps too! If you want a few, give me a hollar!

Am so happy today that I hit upon this idea -->
I use them to store my son's marbles. The 1st one are small marbles that go with his Q-Ba-Maze, the 2nd one are plastic marbles that go with Hungry Hippos and the last one are ceramic (I think) marbles that go with his Marble Run set.

Obviously, we're still missing a lot of marbles. I'm going to vacuum in and around furniture this weekend to see what we find. The best part of this is that they're child-proof containers, Swe-cha won't be able to play with them without my or his dad being aware that he is doing so. We can keep a closer watch and make sure he puts them back when he is done.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Today, I realized how much of a blessing rain is.

I grew up in the Philippines where our days are either rainy or sunny. We don't really look forward to rainy days because rain brought flood.

It wasn't really until I am all grown up and have become a homeowner with a yard that I realize how much easier rainy days are because I can skip watering the lawn and our vegetable garden. my days are when it rains because it means I can skip watering the lawn and our vegetable garden.