On A Lighter Note

This is how I archive...

...when I can hardly do anything but rant.

Art of stroking

Saturday, July 7, 2007
What I love about tennis is that no matter how many people surround the two players, everything still boils down to them. Yes, the audience helps in boosting the morale of the players, but who in the first place controls the ball and places it delicately within the confines of the lawn court? The racquet holders. Yes, the racquet is the sports implement in tennis. And sometimes, this could be the channel of a player to express what he feels. For instance, the art of racquet impinging.

To vent out what the tennis players feel, they usually scream. It's psychological. It is even applied in the real world. But sometimes, when they are so enveloped with their own emotional distress and could not tolerate anymore the distraught, what they do is they usually impinge their racquets on the court, in this case the mowed grass. However, they will not be spared from a violation of racquet breaking. To tennis nuts, racquets are sacred.

When we speak of all these things, racquets, tennis, strokes, lawn court, what usually comes up in our minds is Wimbledon. Wimbledon is the longest running major championship in tennis and is ubiquitously considered to be the most prestigious. It is held annually between late June and the beginning of July for two weeks. Tournament duration, though, is subject to extensions due to intervention of nature.

Top seeded players this year are Roger Federer for the guys and Justine Henin for ladies. If Roger Federer wins this year's bacon, it will be his fifth title in Wimbledon. Almost near to achieving Pete Sampras' record of seven titles. He will be facing the twelfth seed player, Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals. Richard Gasquet has been playing pretty good in his past matches, beating the third seed Andy Roddick in a tight five-set quarter-final match. He has his ups and downs as a tennis player, but this year's Wimbledon, he is showing that he is up for any matches. Equipped with a fantastic backhand, I think Federer will be having a difficult match with him.

On the other hand, the Belgian no. 1 was robbed with this year's title by the eighteenth seed Marion Bartoli. Bartoli humiliated Henin in their semi-final match. On their first set of the match, Henin looked very composed and determined, ending the set with 6-1 in her favor. But everything jumbled. When Bartoli accidentally directed her eyes on the royal box, she saw Pierce Brosnan. Then Bartoli, who is a big fan of 007, suddenly was inspired in her match, grabbing the last two sets, which makes her the winner of the match. She will be facing the no. 23 Venus Williams in the finals.

Warren Buffett

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Everyone knows who the richest man alive is. In case you are from a different quadrant of the universe, and have no idea on to whom the Forbes bestowed this title, it is none other than Bill Gates, an American entrepreneur, philanthropist and the chairman of Microsoft Software Company. He is that middle-aged man with grizzly hair, usually unkempt, whose software company made him the youngest multi-billionaire in the history of United States. As of 2007, his net worth has reached almost $57 billion. He earns nearly one million dollars, enough to pay the debt of our country. With so much money, he can almost buy a ticket to heaven but apparently he hasn't shelled out money for his hair.

Much has been known about Bill Gates. So, let's then give the limelight to the people who trail behind Bill Gates's fortune. Carlos Slim Helú, second richest person according to Forbes. The hell I care, I'm not going to focus on him. I think the name even sounds bogus. But I'm going to talk about the third richest person who got my attention. Warren Buffet.

Just like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett is an American investor, businessman and a philanthropist. His net worth as of 2007 is estimated to be around US$52.4 billion. That means he can actually buy me. I don't think, however, he would waste money just to purchase a dumb bloke. Knowing him, he'd rather send the money to the charities.

Here are some facts about him. It was e-mailed to me by my friend. He got it from an interview conducted by CNBC with Mr. Buffett.

1) He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.

2) He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.

3) He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.

4) He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.

5) His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.

6) He has given his CEOs only two rules. Rule number 1: do not lose any of your shareholder's money. Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.

7) He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time, after he gets home, is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.

8) Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only 5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half an hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.

9) Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.

10) His advice to young people: Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself. Remember money doesn't create man but it is the man who creates money.

Despite the astronomical wealth that he has, he still preferred to live an unostentatious and frugal lifestyle. And this is what I call healthy living.


Sunday, July 1, 2007
This time last year, I remember how I heralded my first year as a college student. New environment. New faces. New professors. New subjects. Everything is new, in fact everything shall be new. And did I mention new clothes? I must say, hiving up casual clothes was no walk in the park. I have to hoard piles of polo shirts for the university does not require a uniform.

I shall note, I am not the typical Lasallian who would shell out grands of bucks just for those Crocodile Garments. Had the manufacturers made the crocodile logo bigger and more visible, say in the middle of the shirt, I might actually consider patronizing their product. See, I am into simplicity. So, to survive my college life, I squirreled away lots of cheap polo shirts and pants.

Everyday, you encounter the same problem: what clothes you should put in. As might be expected, you don't want to wear the same shirt everyday. I am not saying, however, that you should literally stash three hundred sixty-five pairs of shirts and pants for the entire year. Maybe at the moment you can buy tops for an entire month and a few pants. Then, mix it up every week, pair it up with something you haven't used before.

As a freshman, I am required to be lost in the campus. Yes, I am required. For the first two weeks, I wandered around, like a part-time vagabond. I explored the campus, in search of nothing really. Upper-class men just told me to do it, for me to be acquainted with the campus since we are all moving and cramming in the same puddle. I don't want to be lost next time.

Out of raging hysteria to Metro Manila congestion

Saturday, June 30, 2007
Here's a stark solution to the heavy traffic we experience here in Manila: the Pasig River and other channels of water. This is not an original proposal, I must note. Some organizations have already made an attempt to use boats as an alternative means of transportation. However, it was kiboshed because the riders cannot stand the malodorous smell of Pasig River.

Reviewing our history, the Pasig River used to be an important transport route during the Spanish period. Major barter trades were wreaked because of Pasig River. I really don't know how Pasig River looked like before. I bet water lilies and aquatic plants were able to propagate life there. However, due to apathy and lack of concern, the river has become very polluted and worse, is considered dead by ecologists.

But some NGos are already establishing steps on rehabilitating the Pasig River and hopefully, revive the old estuary. The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission was launched to supervise the rehabilitation efforts for the river. Supporting the PRRC are private sector organizations i.e. Clean and Green Foundation who implemented the Piso Para Sa Pasig. (Wikipedia)

In time, it is hoped that the Pasig River will be back to its old aesthetic condition. And who knows, we might get a good use of it. The government can produce boat taxis and ferries. For crying out loud, Pasig River stretches for 25 kilometers and connects Laguna de Bay into Manila Bay. Ergo, over the long haul, it would be beneficial to commuters and to itself as well.