Sunday, April 27, 2008

BIL's visit - part 2

I chronicled BIL's lost left-behind luggage in an earlier post but I thought I'd post another entry again to tell you more about his visit.

We had planned for and made reservations & booked tickets for a trip to Washington, DC. It was supposed to be an overnighter so it took me a while to get the plans together. Trying to get the perfect balance between cost and convenience when it came to booking the hotel & choosing among the tour options (tour buses) wasn't easy.

That night, when we discovered the BIL's luggages were missing, we decided to cancel the trip. His bags weren't found until the next night and weren't sent to JFK until the 2nd day after he arrived. We started looking for another place to visit as soon as we knew that BIL's bags have been found and were scheduled to be delivered.

Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, was a no-brainer because (1) we heard that it is a beautiful city, and; (2) it was a 2 hour drive from where we were, just the right distance for a day trip. It was a fun, fun, fun day.

We drove and parked at a Patco station and got ourselves one-day convenience tickets which we didn't really need because it turns out that everything is walking distance in Philly. We had our pictures taken with the Liberty Bell, went into the US Mint & US Federal Reserve buildings, went to some museums, had our pictures taken at the Love Park and of course, we didn't forget the requesite Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches from Rick's (according to a local, Rick's was an icon in Philly) at the Reading Terminal Market.

Philly's outdoor sculptures were so aliw. I squealed - yes, squealed - in delight when I saw the huuuuge Monopoly pieces in a plaza across the street from the Love Park (please, if anybody knows what this plaza is called, do let me know). Hubby & I are huge fans of Monopoly, you know.

Sadly, we walked around the building and couldn't find the Monopoly car, dog and thimble. All we found were the cart (see picture), the hat and an iron. There were also chess and checkers pieces all over the plaza.

Now, I shall end this post with this picture of a picture (haha!) that I took at Pennsylvania's State House Bell - see? even the Dalai Lama makes the Japanese bunny ears when being photographed.

He's one cool guy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

BIL's visit - arrival (part 1)

Hubby's bro - henceforth known as BIL (bro-in-law) - arrived on 4/12 and stayed with us for a week. We made all sorts of travel plans because he wanted to visit Atlantic city, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Oh and yeah, he wanted to visit NYC too, but since NYC is just a bus ride away, there's really no need to plan for that.

The night before he was scheduled to arrive, I made and finalized hotel bookings and booked hop-on-hop-off tickets for us (it was cheaper to get them online).

Unfortunately, we forgot about Murphy's Law.

BIL arrived on time at JFK - yay! we were actually ready for a delay because of all these AA flights that are getting cancelled. The thing is, BIL arrived but his luggages didn't.

We spent the next couple of hours in AA's baggage service department, 10 minutes of which was spent dealing with a bitchy agent who looked at BIL's luggage tags and said "I can't help you. Your luggage isn't here, it's in SFO" and when we asked her if there was a number we can call to get in touch with SFO's baggage service department, she said "no number. I don't know. I only deal with JFK baggages."

I'm not going to go into the details of how BIL's luggage got left behind in SFO, that's a whole new story altogether - and a long one at that! - but I would caution you to make sure that whenever you check in luggages, they should have tags that show your final destination. Do not allow the airline check-in agent to dismiss your concerns.

BIL's luggage arrived 2 days later.

I just have to say this, though, I really admire BIL's attitude. I didn't see him mad. He didn't raise his voice. Ang bait! And when we left AA's baggage services office in JFK (after being helped by other agents), it turned out that the only person left there was the bitchy gal - BIL thanked her.

I swear, I saw bitchy gal's eyes grow big and she couldn't talk for a few seconds. She was probably surprised because she didn't expect to be thanked after all the crap that she tried to feed us.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

$165 later...

Hubby and I decided to replace our bathroom showerhead with a Waterpik Aquafall combo from BBB. Being DIY fans, we borrowed a pipe wrench from a friend and proceeded to take out the old showerhead. After all, how hard could it be ?

While trying to unscrew the old showerhead, the shower arm* (pictured on the left) broke off and a piece of its nipple (the threaded end) remained lodged inside the elbow joint behind the shower wall.


We did some research and there were a lot of suggestions on how to deal with this. One suggestion was to get an internal pipe wrench to try and get the piece out. We rushed off to our local supplies store and got a cam-type internal pipe wrench. It's kind of cool, really. Except it didn't really bite into the pipe and didn't have enough traction to get the pipe off.

The other solution that we found was to get a hacksaw and try to saw off the remaining piece, taking care not to damage the elbow joint's threads. Cut some grooves, hammer it loose and then pry it off. We tried and couldn't do it.

Eventually, we decided to just get a plumber to come in. (Side comment: seems like it's easier to get a plumber to come in compared to an electrician. I started making calls yesterday and got 5 different plumbers who are available to drop by and give me an estimate. Last year, we tried for an electrician but couldn't get anyone to show up.)

Another factor that pushed us towards getting a plumber were horror stories - both online and from friends' personal experiences - of pipes behind the wall breaking off and water spraying/gushing all over the place.

Now, $165 + $59.99 (less 20%) later,
While all these was happening, we have to be thankful for a few things:

  • ... that we have 2 full bathrooms and even with the master bath shower out, we still had another bathroom to take a bath/showers in.
  • ... that our houseguest - hubby's brother - had already left when we decided to mess around with the shower head. We didn't have to line up for baths.
Now, we want to tackle the 2nd bath's fixtures but something tells me that we shouldn't. Not right away ;-)

and for the record, here's the little bugger that cost us $165.

* Shower arm picture taken from
** Internal pipe wrench picture taken from

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rice shortage ?

My sister starts ringing me yesterday while I was in the middle of a (work-related) conference call. I saw her name come up on the caller ID and I hit the busy button. A few minutes later, her name comes up again on my cellphone screen, I hit the busy button again. Predictably, her name came up again on my cellphone screen after a few minutes and annoyed now, I hit the busy button for the 3rd time.

She must have gotten the message after the 3rd call. I was busy.

Sis then tries to get hold of hubby. When she got through to him, apparently she had wanted to warn us to buy / hoard more rice. May shortage raw. She was just at Costco the previous day and gotten 2 sacks of rice for herself and my aunt. A friend (of the aunts') saw the rice and asked my sister for a favor if she could buy another sack for her. Sis went back to Costco and there was no more rice.

So panicking (a little, haha!), hubby drops by our local Asian store to get another 25 lb bag of rice. We just bought a 25lb bag the week before. Di naman ubos. Nobody else was panic buying... not at the time anyway ;)

So ano ba talaga ? I know that the prices are slowly going up... but is it *that* bad ? that we'd reach the point where we'd be willing to pay any price and still not be able to buy any?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Hubby lost his ring.

We don't know how he lost it or when it even got lost, we just know that it's gone. Found out last Saturday when we were in church.

He doesn't usually wear his ring to work because he works w/ electronics (computer innards) a lot and didn't want to scratch or lose the stones. So on weekends, he puts on his ring whenever we go out. Just before we left for church, I got mine from the jewelry armoire and saw that his was missing. I assumed that he had already gotten his.

In church, he held my hand and then he pointed to my ring finger, and then to his empty ring finger.

When I saw his empty ring finger, I knew that something was wrong. The ring was missing! :(

After mass, we quickly went home,... hanap hanap. Can't find it.


Kainis talaga. I know I've read a lot of n@wies talking about losing their (or hubby's) wedding rings and I never thought that it would happen to us.

I'm still disappointed. and kind of mad. and disappointed, again.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I haven't posted anything in a week and this is so typical of me. When things get hectic and I run out of time, blogging - while very therapeutic - usually gets the boot.

Nowadays, I'm still chugging along on that spring cleaning project that I started a couple of weeks ago. For the longest time, our house looked like a bodega because of all the things that we've started packing up in boxes in anticipation of our move to Massachusetts.

Unfortunately, our house hasn't sold yet so we are still here. As for our boxed stuff, whatever could fit in our basement storage space has already been squeezed in (which reminds me, I should take a picture so we can have a record of hubby's box-stacking abilities) and whatever boxes are left are lying around in the house in our spare bedroom (this, I've been using as a home office) and living room area.

Bodega, really.

Bro-in-law is arriving in a few days and he will be staying in the spare room so I'm trying to tidy up as much as I can. It's not easy as I just squeeze the cleaning in between conference calls & meetings. Hmmm, I seem to be doing a lot of that lately, ... I look at my daily worklog and nowadays, my days seem filled with meetings, conference calls and chasing-people-to-follow-them-up-on-deadlines-and-requirements. But I digress...

By next week, my home office will have to be moved out of this room and I will have to find a new place for me & my laptop. I have to say that I will miss the morning light which comes in nicely through the window and brightens up the whole room. Our other room faces the opposite direction and only gets the afternoon sun which I find too glaring. Oh well, I can always draw the curtains...

OR... if weather permits, I could transfer my chair & portable workdesk out to the balcony and work there! After all, the balcony off of our bedroom has a nice little alcove that I can sort of squeeze into if the sunshine gets too much. I swear, ngayon ko lang naisip to as I am writing this but this is sounding more like a better idea with each letter that I type! NICE!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spring na!

Okay... so I'm not really a Spring person but at this time of the year, one can't help but look forward to the days when you can just wash the winter jackets and put them back into storage.

I have a confession... *shhh*.

I still have an unopened box full of junk from 4 years ago, it's just bits and pieces that I crammed into a box when I was in the process of moving from my apartment to my condo. I call it "junk" because obviously, I have not opened the box in years so I must not need or use whatever it is that is inside.

When hubby moved here after our wedding, another packrat was added to the house.


Hubby's family is arriving in less than 2 weeks. The pressure is on to eliminate / lessen the junk and clear up our place. I've been steadily scanning (for my records) & shredding documents that I don't need to keep and throwing away old magazines that I saved up over the years. I've been doing this for weeks and so far, things are shaping up. Still far from being clear, but we are getting there.

<-- I took this picture just before throwing this in the garbage. This was the very first batch of garbage that I threw away for Spring Cleaning 2008. Those boxes contain junk and other empty boxes. For some reason, I can't bear to throw away boxes because I always think that I'm going to find a use from them. Eh, being an avid online shopper, we get quite a few of them every month.

I am hoping that I can maintain this pace.