I’m back

Not that anyone noticed I was gone, but I did promise myself to blog regularly as a kind of discipline.

Anyway, the reason I was away for so long was because some work-type things came up that I really had to pay attention to – lest I fuck it up – and second, because my damned computer is acting up again.

Whine, whine, whine.

Are you enjoying your weekend yet?

MMDA karatekas

OMFG, this.

This fellow Tolentino, who’s running the MMDA, just shoots from the hip, doesn’t he? Giving martial arts training to traffic enforcers???

As if those jerks weren’t arrogant enough, now he wants to empower them with a sense of martial superiority over motorists? The man watches too much television.

In the meantime, I cannot recall a time when traffic was worse in the metro. Good frickin’ job, sensei.


Hurricane Isaac

Florida’s gonna be in for a blow. Bad timing for the Republicans, and just bad all around for the people who live there. Here in the Philippines, we’ve had more tropical storms and hurricanes than you can shake a weather vane at, so trust me when I say, I know how you folks must feel over there.

Yeah, we get it bad.

But over the course of several years, civic minded folks here have taken to using Twitter both to organize rescues and what-not, AND to promote disaster preparedness. In that same vein, I thought some of these reminders might be of some use to you folks.

  • An average person needs about a gallon of drinking water per day.That’s about 3.5 liters. While waiting for Isaac to come, store away as much water as you can in gallon jugs or containers. If you think flooding might be a problem for your neighborhood, it’d be smart to lash the handles together, just so that they don’t get swept away. Also, empty gallon containers can be used as flotation devices in a pinch.
  • Again, if you think flooding will be a problem, you might as well keep some DIY water filter components handy. Empty soda liter bottles, box cutters, and cheesecloth are just some of the things you can set aside now in case you need them later. Great instructions for DIY water filters are available here and here.
  • Assemble a disaster kit. It should have a whistle, a flashlight with spare batteries, and a first-aid kit that should have a pair of scissors and some bandages. You never know when you’ll need to do some field dressings.
  • Food is absolutely essential, of course. Instant ramen would be great if you had access to cooking facilities. In the event of flooding, however, that might be a long shot. So, stock up on crackers and cookies stored in zip-loc bags.
  • A portable radio that runs on batteries is indispensable.
  • Charge all your electronics – especially your mobile phones.
  • Cash, identification documents – like passports, medical records, and such – clothes. Think of it as packing for a long trip to somewhere, except that instead of packing all of your stuff in suitcases, you might want to keep them in plastic garbage bags. Double bagging will help keep them dry. For cash and documents, a zip-loc bag would be the best solution.

That’s all I have, and I wish I could share more.

Good luck! And stay safe.

Empire State shootings

What the heck is happening America?

Two dead – the shooter, Jeffrey Johnson, and his victim – and nine bystanders injured, all in front of the Empire State Building in New York.  Apparently, Johnson was downsized about a year ago. Today, he returned and shot a former co-worker dead, opened fire on random people before the cops got to him and took him down.

These are desperate times – biblical, I’m sure some would say. Well, today, the world ended for two people and I’m pretty certain it feels that way too for the people who loved them.

What a damned shame.


It’s breaking all over the news now. They’ve found Secretary Jesse Robredo and the two pilots.

Apparently, the plane’s fuselage was nose down in the muck at the bottom of the sea. The pilots were in the cockpit. The Secretary, much closer to – I presume – the door.

What a sad development.

Like many, I had been kinda hoping that this would have a television ending – after long and apparently fruitless search, the protagonist turns up alive, having cheated death through a combination of luck and breathtaking skill. But real life disappoints. And the Secretary lies on the deck, fallen … well you know the rest.

Just as you probably are not surprised that, even as they were discussing the man’s death, ANC anchors just can’t resist asking their guest for his opinion on the scuttlebutt that Robredo was a possible future president.

That may have been a fairly innocuous statement, but for some reason, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Since they were engaging in mindless chatter anyway, I would have much preferred that they talked about that survivor, Abrasado.

I’m no newshound but it seems very little has been said about his part in all of this. On Karen Davila’s show, it was said that if the plane had ditched with its landing gear retracted, it might have been able to stay afloat for 5-10 minutes. That’s a bloody long time. The fact that it did float for a while was actually confirmed by one of the fishermen on the scene at the time. And certainly, if  Abrasado was able to wrest that Seneca’s door open and throw himself out into the water, then it stands to reason that Robredo at least may have had the opportunity to save himself as well.

Unless of course, he was out cold.

With the search over, another must now begin. The search for truth. At the center of that search is Abrasado. Callous as it may seem, the lone survivor must be asked the hard questions, even if those questions seem tailored to incriminate him. After all, the survivor of any crime is, by default, at least a person of interest if not the principal suspect. It’s just the way it is. There are those, particularly on twitter who are over-eager to rise to the man’s defense with their sentimental pap about the plane crash wasn’t his fault.

Seriously. Are we ready to declare that with finality? With so little information to hand, can we declare anything with finality? Let’s not be too quick to clear anyone of culpability, I say. Most certainly not this Abrasado who survived an accident that claimed three lives. He may turn out to have merely been truly fortunate in the end, but for now, he should not shy away from the harsh glare of inquiry. To do so would dishonor the man he was supposed to have been serving as aide-de-camp to.

Secretary Jesse Robredo has been found. Now it is up to us to find out how and why such a good man was taken from us.