January

Pylon Lookout

2009 -- Our wedding website will remain up as a memory, and like Ninang Cayen said, will be eternally unfinished. We've got some plans for it yet, hope you watch out for it!!

Thanks for visiting, friends!

p.s. See our uber cool Gallery too!

Sophie’s words

February 29th, 2012

Ajay can I are able to recognise a number of words that our daughter has been uttering lately. Here is a list of them, and some other things she has been consistently showing. A number of them she has been doing as far back as six months old! We just realised now that she has been talking so much (Kicking myself, I should have documented these ages ago!)

As of leap year day, 29 February 2012 (she is now 17 months old)

Can actually say the sound:
Topeee = Sophie
Dada/Papa/Dapa = when pointing to her father
Mama = either pointing to me or my breasts (!)
Lala = her grandma, lola
Mamam = food
Dait = light
Dat = clock
Ka = Car
Aw = owl
Mo = Elmo/more food (this can be confusing, have to take into context!)
Popo = hippo
Hays (whispering) = eyes
Hosh = nose
Chi/Chin = her chin (so clear!)
Sh = Orange
Nana = banana
apt = laptop
ap = up
daaaaan = down
Bo = ball
Chichee = Hello Kitty
Puuuuuu = Winnie the Pooh
awoooo = ouch (while holding her head, no matter which body part she gets her ouch)
Baaaaa = Bye
A-a-a = Hi (like a singsong do-mi-re)
No-o-o = no

Sound effects:
hoo hoo = dog
Mmmmm = cow
(squeaky sound with lips) = mouse
(similar squeaky sound with lips) = fish

Signing/action/dancing:
Milk = 2 hands as if milking udders
Eat = one hand as if susubo ng kanin nagkakamay
Sleep = along with fake snoring
Donkey = one hand flapping above head (hee-haa as the Wiggles do it)
rooster = Cock-a-doodle-doo signing above head as Wiggles do it too
“arms go up” = both arms go up
jump = jumping a few times ending with dropping on her bum
kiss (with so much laway!)
Ba! = peeeeeek-a-boo! or eeeeeeeat bulaga!

pointing to things/body parts when named:
shirt
hair
eyebrows
tummy
hands
fingers
feet
legs
toes
cheeks
ears
mouth = she doesn’t point though, but stretches her mouth wide!
teeth = grinning to bare her front teeth!
tongue = not point either, but sticking it out

She loves books. She will run to her bookshelf every morning and pull some of them off the shelf, digging for what she wants. She will bring these books to you and grunt, asking you to read it aloud with her. At almost any book, when you show signs of starting to open the pages, she will shriek with excitement. The book she most memorised (as her mom has) is the Eyes, Nose, Fingers and Toes. We need to get our own copy of this book, we’ve borrowed it a few times from the library.

She loves Elmo and almost all other Sesame Street muppets, Hello Kitty, and will smile when seeing other characters like Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbell, etc.

Picasso, zombies, IKEA, mommy’s health state and a nanny.

February 28th, 2012

On Saturday, we went to see the Picasso exhibit at the Art Gallery. It was also a chance to meet with tweethearts Ivy, Chris, Lena, Jay, Mindy and Jo. Lena introduced us to a quaint cafe hidden in the grounds of Hyde Park Barracks. We spent some playtime with the kiddos at Hyde Park, before the Zombie Walk commenced at 3pm. Ajay met up with Noel and Marc, both former PinoyCSers from SG. On the way home we stopped at IKEA Tempe to buy some storage as recommended by the Araullos, the Antonius modules. Of course no IKEA visit will be complete without IKEA food. It was our first time to munch on hotdogs and donuts in Tempe; we usually went to the resto but it was late and too close to closing time.

This was also the first weekend I was on my new hormone therapy. So far my heavy bleeding has stopped, but not without the side effects. I’m very dizzy most times, and I had so far three short migraine attacks. The tingling on my left leg is still there, but it goes away when I do some stretching: this indicates to me that my blood circulation improves with exercise.

Today, Tuesday, is somewhat a better day, health-wise. Since 14 February I had been on a daily morning exercise routine. Yesterday I missed one, owing to an “all-knotted-up” feeling all over my body. But today I resumed this routine, and went for a walk with Ajay and back home. I’ll be going to work in a few hours for a meeting.

In other news, we started bringing Sophie to her nanny yesterday. Today was her second day, spending a half hour alone there with Yaya Ann and Filip. On Monday Sophie was there alone for 15 minutes. Tomorrow we plan to leave her there for an hour. She seems to be getting on well with Yaya Ann and Filip, which is a good sign of things to come =) One thing we have to get is a new toy ball, coz Sophie can’t get enough of Filip’s Disney bouncy Cars ball.

Some christian music for children

February 21st, 2012

I may not be the biggest Christian now, but when I was little I was introduced to a lot of Christian music. I think I had a short blog about this before, and I might just link to it if I find it.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to present this link http://www.nubeat.org/Albums.html. This is a website that lists and links to low quality mp3s of a LOT of christian music specifically written for children. One word from me: Nostalgia.

If you are, for any reason, interested but unable to pick, I’d recommend the following albums: Little Things, Sweet Dreams Tonight and Say I Love You.

For specific song recommendations, I recommend the following for some “life lessons” – and they’re not necessarily exclusively Christian values, but those marked with * are about belief in God, so you can skip those if you’re not interested:

From the album “Little Things“:
If you Give Love You Will Receive Love = a lesson in “loving your neighbour” or in non-christian speak, a step beyond altruism? =) some may disagree but that’s how I see it. I once sang this song while I was in grade school (thank heavens there were no video cameras around!)
Don’t Give Up = as the title implies, keep on trying (wipe away the tears and don’t give up)
Do It Now = discourages procrastination
*Magic Painter = I like the metaphor
*He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands = this song I eternally associate with Steve Buscemi coz of the film Con Air

From the album “Sweet Dreams Tonight“: I love this mainly coz each tune is a lullaby, and I sometimes hum them to my daughter too while I lull her to sleep
*Did I remember = a reminder to pray to thank God for everything
*There Among The Stars = a song about heaven
Little Eyes = a lovely melodious lullaby, the very first one I instinctively sang to our little girl from the night she was born
Sweet Dreams Tonight = another lovely lullaby

From the album “Say I Love You“:
Say I Love You = I just pretty much love to imagine that my daughter will learn to “say I love you one hundred times a day” as this song instructs, or at least “put I love you in every word you say”

Math-themed movies

February 20th, 2012

The School of Maths is hosting a fortnightly math-themed movie night. It isn’t possible for me to participate at this point, but I thought I’d keep track of the movies they’re watching, while AJ and I can try and make time to see these films ourselves. I can think of quite a number of math-themed films, and we’ve seen some. I’m curious to see what the series of films will be like coming from professors in the Maths School. Back in UPD there was one experimental film AJ and I watched, entitled “Pi”, as recommended by Dr. Fidel Nemenzo. I don’t think I’ve seen it more than once. Perhaps it’s time we saw it again? I remember it was difficult to watch, as experimental films aren’t really our taste. Interesting to see them once in a while though.

The first movie in the line-up is also an experimental title: Zorn’s Lemma. Some background on the actual Zorn’s lemma is somewhat necessary, I was told. Seeing as it is experimental, it might be worth noting that it’s a short one, clocking at less than an hour, so that will make it a little more bearable to see? =) So here is a link to its wiki. A quick google research on this movie brings one problem to this to-do: where to find a copy of it? I found a series of youtube links, the first of which is here, but of poor quality. Anyway, that’ll do for now.

On a related note, here is a link to a blog about 1001 movies to see before you die, etc. I remember seeing Dr M with a copy of a book with the same title, along with a highlighter pen. Imagine the sight of an elderly mathematician with silver hair+moustache+beard smirking at you, his skin tanned and glowing while he wears slippers a tank top and ragged maong shorts, while sitting on his director’s chair near the pebbly shore of his seaside property. That’s Dr. M. And everytime I remember him that’s the image I see.

Some related links:
Zorn’s Lemma (1970)
A blog post on the film

Matlab: storing results from a for loop

February 13th, 2012

So I’ve been fitting exponential curves into some data points today, continuing from last week. This is when you have at least two sets of values x and y which you are guessing to be related “logistically”, so that you model this relationship by y=b*m^x. Here’s how one plot looks like:

(See MS Excel help page on LOGEST here.)

After which I want to plot these model curves using Matlab, so I am currently “copy-pasting arrays” into the Matlab command window. The job is getting a bit too much with the lot of data I have, so I think it’s time to learn coding in Matlab.

Here’s a very short but useful video tutorial that clearly shows the syntax on how to store results from a for loop into a matrix. I’m no programmer, as I’ve admitted in many a conversation to disclaim my unskilledfulness in coding.

Anyhow, if you can’t see the video, basically all you have to do is define a matrix such as mat(r,:)=y within the for loop, as shown in the example:

for r = 1: 10
y=your formula to get y involving r;
mat(r,:)=y
end

The “:” notation is very useful to refer to an entire column.

Excel: Logest and Linest (and similar)

February 9th, 2012

A useful post I found about Logest. The handiest tip I found is to use the “Index” function when using LOGEST, which makes it not necessary to enter it as an array formula.

As you can see, been using Excel more frequently now. Makes it easier somewhat, since everyone in the office is on Windows/Microsoft.

Excel: Clustered Stacked Column Chart

February 1st, 2012

Being a “beginner” in Excel again. I’ve had to google a lot for help in creating charts. Here is a useful link I found when I needed to create a column chart that consisted of stacks clustered together:

(Link)

Go nuts! (If this link ever dies, contact us here and I’ll attempt to recreate the instructions written there.)

Celebrity Focus: Sean Bean

January 27th, 2012

Ajay and I started watching Game of Thrones. I have the books and started reading, but our watching the episodes just caught up with where I am in the first book. I can’t get too upset about it anymore. Free time is such a luxury now. And I have to admit, this is the first time I am enjoying a TV adaptation so much I don’t mind as much that I haven’t finished reading the book. Needless to say, it’s a great show that we’ll continue to watch for as long as it runs. I love the cast, it is easy to get addicted!

As is often the case, I get very attached to actors in shows I watch. Sean Bean of LOTR fame is cast perfectly as Ned Stark. It is unfortunate I find it difficult to shake off his Boromir character, but that’s coz he looks so similar in what looks like a “period” costume. I don’t mind, I like Sean Bean. ned stark I first saw Sean Bean in Patriot Games (1992), a film starring Harrison Ford. Bean plays an extremist Irish republican who attempts an assassination of a British Royal. This made me ask “Is he Irish?”, I still don’t know (can someone educate me?). Other similar dark roles are in Ronin (1998) with Robert de Niro, where he had a small role. A bigger role was beside Nicolas Cage in National Treasure (2004) as main villain Ian Howe. Another gem is his appearance as Odysseus in the film Troy (2004). And of course, who can forget him as Boromir in Fellowship of the Ring (2001). He also appeared in a British TV series with the title role of Richard Sharpe, a soldier in Napoleonic times.

A few future roles to watch out for are in upcoming films Mirror, Mirror (2012), a movie about Snow White, and Pan (2012) about Peter Pan. Also to look forward to is the TV drama Missing alongside Ashley Judd, also coming out this year (2012).

What are you passionate about?

January 27th, 2012

I used to be passionate about blogging. When did it die? When I ask myself that question, I remember the invention of microblogging, and one by one, blogs of people I followed online were dropping like flies.

Since becoming a mommy, I have to admit I’ve become a scatterbrain most times the past couple of years. But I suppose my passion had been redirected to our new family addition, our beautiful little girl Sophia. Having passed her first birthday, she is becoming more independent: playing alone quietly by my feet for a few minutes, learning to feed herself, undress herself for a bath, ask for what she wants, etc. Breaking my heart while I burst with pride: so this is how it’s like to be a parent.

A passion for what you love doing, a passion for life itself. What are you passionate about?

I know through my more than three decades of existence, there are things about the world that I became and continue to feel passion for. In my life what makes me feel alive involve beauty, knowledge, simplicity and love. Beauty: photos, drawings, music, stories; knowledge: personalities, history, science; simplicity: practicality and frugality; love: family and treasured friends.

This is the essence of our blog. We write about things we are passionate about. But when we get immersed in these passions, these days we don’t get the chance to blog about it as soon as we could.

So yet again, I’ll try to revive this blog. Perhaps what they say about blogging being “dead” can be put off for a little while longer.

2012 Australian Open predictions

January 16th, 2012

EDIT: 27 January (Friday)

I got the Semis correct in the Mens games, though I got Tsonga wrong in the Quarterfinal. I botched the womens though, apart from Azarenka. What a shriekfest it will be tomorrow with Sharapova!
===================

Mens Final
(Hopeful) Murray vs Federer
(Likely) Djokovic vs Nadal

Semifinal
Djokovic vs Murray
Federer vs Nadal

Quarterfinal
Djokovic vs Ferrer
Murray vs Tsonga
Del Potro vs Federer
Berdych vs Nadal

Womens Final
(Hopeful) Li vs Stosur
(Likely) Azarenka vs Williams

Semifinal
Li vs Azarenka
Williams vs Stosur

Quarterfinal
Wozniacki vs Li
Azarenka vs Schiavone
Williams vs Sharapova
Stosur vs Kvitova

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