Falling in love with Elementary OS

Sleek and light as a feather, this Ubuntu derivative may be 'The One'

Wood Furniture Garage Sale

We are holding a wooden furniture garage sale. All stocks must go.

Woodcraft Antique Sale - The Secret

As I took a picture of its best parts, I began to ask "Who was she?". What gave the sculptor the inspiration to make her

Book Recommendation: The Unbeliever

Because even atheists have to believe in something...

The Writer and the Raven

The writer looks up from his desk and ponders. The bird seems to eye him carefully as if it wanted to say something.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Laughter...

Laughter, The Best Medicine IIOh, how I delight in laughter. Those ticklish streams of cognitive and linguistic skill.

The best ones to laugh are the little ones, those whose joy is as shallow as the stream.

Nowadays, the laughter I hear often are the ones made by boisterous drunkards - the ones that sound like

*Burp* BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA *Burp*


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Power

Power, so intoxicating, so deceiving and so fickle, is an illusion that dissipates like a misty fog blown away by the gales.

The people who cling to it, the ones who desire it, the ones who defend it with all their gall, are the ones who have experienced the lack of it for a long time early on their lives.

That's why you always have angry revolutionaries, that's why you have people with purported causes, that's why you have people with messianic complexes and people who do things that we may see as good - but in reality is just a mask - meant to cover up the powerlessness of their own lives.

I've seen it all too often. I've experienced it too and humbly bow my head acknowledging that I have no power.


Resort-Ville.com First Video: How to Bury a Large Dead Tree

How to Bury a Large Dead Tree

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Twitter's Policy and Brand Enforcement Division and Twitter Karma

Twitter Karma, a nifty tool which shows you in a jiffy who follows you back and not, just got served:


This has prompted the outfit to change its name to the cheesier tweeter karma. Nevertheless, the change is quite useless for the fact that tweeter karma's domain is still http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/

I wonder....

Ubuntu: Where is the Love?

The first thing that greeted me this morning was a Slashdot piece on Ubuntu lovin' (or the lack of it):

"Used to be Ubuntu was the big Linux hero, the shining knight that would drive Linux onto every desktop and kick bad old Windows to the curb. But now Ubuntu is the Bad Linux. What's going on, is it typical fanboy fickleness, or is Canonical more into serving their own interests than creating a great Linux distro?"

It's sad really, and I haven't been keeping up to date with all the Ubuntu going-ons lately. So forgive me if I got one or two things wrong in this piece.

Official Ubuntu Book, The (5th Edition)
For me my Ubuntu story ended when I had to actually do something with my PC other than constantly repartition and install stuff.

It was just too time consuming to get things done. Forget the fanboy attitude all screaming at the same time that I'm wrong and that all it takes was a simple command in the beloved terminal.

It just didn't flow. Everything felt disjointed. Fix one problem and three more come out. At least, with windows, you can say that "Ignorance is bliss".

Next, the name. I'm about to renew the domain registration for dannybuntu.com, sometimes I wonder if I should even renew it since I'm no longer using or writing about Ubuntu. The only thing that makes me want to keep the name is the premise of,

"I am who I am because of who we all are."

Besides the fact of course that the domain is now a Page Rank 3 blog.

Next, I needed Microsoft Office and I needed it fast. Forget the "it just works" mantra - "gasgas na." I needed something that not only works, but also works fast, with minimum to no maintenance required (all those version upgrades and sudo dpkg ing really consumed a lot of time), was compatible with my employers office suite and something that didn't have fanboys and fangirls.

Next, the Ubuntu crowd tended to be elitists. They're the RTFM kind of crowd that just made people, ok me - feel stupid. Come on, even if it's true and even if there are some Ubuntu people that are just plain awesome and helpful - at the end of the day, I don't want to spend the whole day trying to fiddle around with all sort of mumbo jumbo that wasn't going to bring food to the table.

Next and perhaps the most compelling argument of all - desktop OS is no longer relevant. Everything is going to the clouds. What I'm waiting for is the Google OS for the desktop, lean and able to boot the moment you turn on the PC.

Finally, I loved Ubuntu for all its premise, promise and appeal, but if it has to take me several months to relearn everything that I've learned - I'd rather stick with something that's dumber than me.

Sorry guys. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

http://goog.gl

I guess it must be a slow blogging day for me to write about this,

http://goog.gl is not http://goo.gl
http://goog.gl is a parked page 

http://goo.gl is the correct and official Google URL shortener


Monday, February 21, 2011

Work for Facebook, Inc.


Like Google, Facebook offers posh benefits for its talented workforce. I am particularly keen on having the free gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner made by Chef Josef. His ability to concoct and fuse Western with Asian cuisine is quite renowned. But my day at Facebook's headquarters in California didn’t start there, it started in the reception area. 

I felt awkward knowing that it was my first day not only in Facebook’s Palo Alto headquarters, but most importantly inside the United States of America. 

Anyway, the whole affair started with a simple phone call. I was at home in the Philippines, working on my writing gigs, when suddenly the phone rang. I didn’t bother to answer it since I was busy writing. My wife answered it, but suddenly, I heard a loud crash - Apparently, she knocked over a flower vase and then went inside my office. 

In a harried manner, she motioned for me to get the phone quickly – as in the 'President of the sovereign Republic of the Philippines is calling me' type of quickly. My heart jumped at her behavior and wondered what emergency could have happened.  She handed me the cellphone, and I said,

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Mr. Daniel Andrei R. Garcia - I’m sorry did I pronounce that right?” 

“Yes, Ma’am, this is Danny Garcia. Ummm, may I know who’s on the line?” 

.....Shock, disbelief, incredulity – these words were not enough to describe what I felt back then. When I finished speaking, I asked my wife if she wanted to live in Texas. She gave me an inquisitive look and she couldn’t seem to find the words to answer. 

After a moment or two, “Texas?! Sa Pampanga!?” (Texas, in Pampanga, Philippines?)

“Austin, Texas, sa America. Weng, may interview ako sa Facebook sa Los Angeles, baka makuha ako at ma-assign sa Texas.” (Austin, Texas, in America. Weng, I have a job interview with Facebook in Los Angeles, if I am successful, I might be assigned in Texas.)

She didn’t believe me for an hour, but kept asking me about it anyway. I couldn’t really blame her, if I was her, I wouldn’t believe me either.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

It all began with an online application for an “Analyst, Online Operations in Austin” I’ll put some details here, since the posting is still live:

“The Online Operations teams include Risk, Payments, Platform and User Operations among a number of teams. Our Risk team works with teams across the company to enable new features, help our users stay safe online, fight fraud, and protect our company's assets. The Payments group ensures, monitors, and reports on all money moving into the company. Platform supports the developer community, enforces our policies and ensures an excellent user experience. User Operations is responsible for maintaining user safety, engagement, and site understanding and identifying patterns of user behavior. Besides reacting to existing incidents, we also like to play offense. We use our knowledge and insight to analyze future product launches and identify scalable solutions that help support our users, advertisers, and developers. Successful candidates for this job enjoy verbal and written communication, solving puzzles, making quick decisions and working collaboratively. We are looking for a wide range of analytical, data-driven people with a diversity of backgrounds who love Facebook. If this sounds like you, please apply! These positions are located in our new Austin, Texas office.”

Like most fools on the Internet, I just kept on clicking. I was a curious animal to say the least.

After all, I thought that I wouldn’t lose anything if I clicked on the silly button.

Curiosity killed the monkey, (or was it the cat?)

Anyway, so I clicked the “Apply for this position” button because it was blue and I felt like clicking it out of boredom.

The next page that appeared was equally as simple. Out of fun, I typed this in:

“Dear Sir/Madam, 

I would like to formally submit my application for the position of Analyst in your Texas Office. I am currently residing in the Philippines as a freelance writer but have extensive experience in a law firm as an administrative assistant and also have experience in a business process outsourcing center here. I am open to employment in the United States if such a position is not available here in the Philippines. 

However, may I point out that Filipinos are the 5th most avid users of Facebook in the world. Setting up shop in the Philippines is highly viable for your Southeast Asian operations.

You would be ignoring a vital segment of your market if you do not set a physical marketing presence here. 
 
With that said, I am attaching my curriculum vitae for your perusal. 

Thank you for your time. 

Regards,

Daniel Andrei R. Garcia”


I attached my CV and pressed the “Submit Application” button.

I thought it ended there too. I was expecting an automated reply to the tune of,


“Dear Mr. Daniel Andrei R. Garcia,

We regret to inform you that your application was declined. 

Facebook is committed to providing the richest user experience in social media. Unfortunately, your qualifications may be suited for other endeavors. 

We wish you the best of luck in finding other employment opportunities. 

Thank you for sending your intention to apply in Facebook.

Regards,” 


But I didn’t get such a reply.

What I got was ‘the phone call’.

This later on, led to an invitation which bought me a ticket to Los Angeles, plus a free stay at the Stanford Terrace Inn.

Job Interview 

I didn’t know my way around California, but Leah, the person who personally assisted me, was very helpful. She was the one who helped me with, well, practically everything! That night, I spent the evening watching television inside my hotel room. I didn’t take off my socks and I didn’t even take off my travel clothes, I just turned on the TV and sat down, until I fell asleep.
The morning was a harried one.

Though I woke up at 5 AM, my phone rang at 6 while I was taking a shower. It was Leah, and she told me that a cab was on its way, and that I had to be ready by 7.

I felt like I would slip on the bathroom floor. But I still managed to say,


“Ok, thank you.”

I looked at my job application attire and wondered whether they would bring me luck here in the US. Unlike most other applicants, I didn’t bother buying new long sleeves, I simply used what I had.

Call me superstitious but they got me past 2 job interviews in the Philippines, one in BPI and the other in a call center. I thought that if I wore something old but lucky, I’d feel more confident.


As I struggled to wear my tie, my cellphone rang again.

“Is this Mr. Garcia?” 

“Yes,” half affirming and half inquisitive.

It was the cab service.

“I’m on my way down. Thanks!” I said.

I fumbled with my clear book which has all of my documents and managed to put them all in my black laptop bag.

I wore my watch and ring, put on some cologne and rushed down the hotel lobby with the speed of a panther.

A man in black was standing near the entrance, he wore a casual suit and sort of reminded me of Steve Jobs with his spectacles. The only difference was he wasn’t wearing blue jeans. I must have looked unique in the hotel lobby because he immediately approached me.

“Hi, are you Danny?“ he said in friendly tone.

I just nodded and smiled, all caught up in the moment.

He then extended his hands and said, “I am Hans, I’ll be taking you to the office.” 

Somebody told me once that I should grip very tight whenever somebody extends a handshake. So I did and managed to breathe a sigh of relief when he finally released it.

I somehow expected that the vehicle would be a black SUV, but was disappointed to see that it was a blue 2011 Chevy Volt.

You can say anything you like about this provincial bumpkin, but hey, I’m absolutely impressed. The car was as silent as “nothingness” and its movement was like silk.

I sat down and felt really, really cold. I felt my stomach turning at the sheer tension. As a kid, I had this condition which always made me feel nauseated before an important event.

Ho boy, this event was definitely one of them. One thing that I didn’t appreciate in the US was that cigarettes were very, very expensive and the only way I could feel at ease was if I smoked and then popped in some Mentos to make my breath smell fresh.

I didn’t have access to both cigarettes and Mentos, so I felt that I just wanted to disappear and maybe just go back to the Philippines to my comfortable jungle.

Hans said nothing while he drove so I occupied myself by looking at the scenery. The drive was pretty short.


From El Camino, we took a left at Stanford Ave. and then took another left at Amherst St. and finally, South California Avenue. I saw the Maroonish red sign with white letters.

facebook
1601 California Ave.

I thought to myself that the red was darker in real life. It was almost crimson like.

The scenery was just like the suburbs here in the Philippines. It’s like being inside Ayala Alabang, except that there were more trees and more green stuff. Plus, you’d have the feeling that it wasn’t a residential area at all.

Hans went to drop me off the main entrance of the building. My knees were practically buckling. I was desperately in need of a smoke.


I took a deep breath and went inside.

The receptionist looked nice and cute, so I somehow got the courage to semi-inquire awkwardly,


“Hi, I’m here for my 8 AM appointment with HR, 

Then this is the time when I tell you that this is just a work of fiction, a product of my imagination.

I got the idea when my curiosity was aroused and I clicked on the Career link at the bottom of facebook. I wondered how it must be like to work in Facebook.  

Most of the details are real, except for me being in them and the place called Texas, Pampanga...LOL

As for the Philippines being the 5th country with the most Facebook users, I got that from Social Bakers.

As for the driving instructions, I used Google Street View. Actually I couldn't find the facebook sign, in Google's street view. They must have taken it already since they are planning on moving facebook's headquarters.

As for setting up shop here in the Philippines, I think it's a viable idea considering that the Philippines is on equal footing with India as an outsourcing hub. Facebook is setting up shop in London, Ireland and Madrid. I think it does make perfect sense for them to have an South East Asian marketing presence.

Btw, I just invented Leah and Hans, any similarity to actual people is purely coincidental.

Would I like to work for facebook? Gee, I don't really know. I'd be surrounded by geniuses and maybe feel like a fly.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Basketball at 29


I beat a 13 year old kid today.

12-10.

Granted, I was a foot taller and heavily used this to my advantage. But still, he was 13, there's simply no excuse.

The fact that I smoked for 10 years and was gasping for air halfway through the game was his ultimate advantage.

I used some classic post-up plays, plus some simple layups.

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When I was younger the kids on the court called me "elbow". For good reason too.

I played in several community and school leagues and won myself and my team, one championship ring.

Right now, I feel that I am at 10% of what I was when I was 16 to 18.

But heck, I still got game. :)

Spalding 63249 Official Size NBA Street Basketball 

Friday, February 18, 2011

If Only Steve Jobs...

Steve Jobs Poster Portrait

Steve Jobs, the charismatic icon who has propelled Apple Corporation to the forefront of the mobile revolution is very sick. The details of his current health are very sketchy although many are pointing to cancer as the primary concern. Health is an issue that's often the part of the private lives of individuals, however public figures are different specially when the fate of a corporation hangs in the balance.

Some interesting questions do arise when it comes to the revolutionary tech leader. For instance, is he really that critical, that essential to Apple Corporation that everybody seems to be holding their breaths whenever health issues arise for the CEO?

Apple, for what it's worth, makes cellphones and other gadgets primarily used for entertainment. Ultimately, the real value of Steve Jobs as a CEO is seen primordially from the eyes of Western media and American Bloggers whose whole world may revolve around the guy. Not that the importance of Steve Jobs is being downplayed here, it's just that from an outside perspective, Steve is one among many.

Consider Steve Jobs and Bill Gates,

Bill Gates And Steve Jobs Poster 24x36 

Bill Gates retired and successfully handed the reigns to a successor before he got sick, he recently sold 90 million Microsoft stocks, founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation meant for philanthropic purposes, has donated several billions of dollars for health, education, energy, and development for developing nations and has constantly egged the world's wealthy to donate their riches.

Steve Jobs on the other hand, belatedly acknowledged his daughter, scrapped Apple's philanthropic endeavors and makes it even harder for others to do the same

Personally

Steve's legacy is recognized, but it's time that he lived the remainder of his life to do good for others. To those who are given much, much is required. With great power comes great responsibility. His responsibility now lies with handing over the reigns to a successor. The successor to Jobs will always be inferior when compared to him but that cannot be avoided.

Lisa


This is 'LISA', one of Apple's earliest computers. UPDATE: 08/28/2011 The picture disappeared somehow, but I guess you can understand the point. Lisa really is a computer - the person below is Steve Jobs' daughter - Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Lisa Brennan-Jobs
This is Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Jobs' daughter.

Read more about her here:

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Gimmaging"

Gimmaging. "Gee-mage-eeng." Verb. Can Also Mean Google Image Link Baiting. The art of using Google Image search plus url shorteners and link baiting techniques to show pleasant images of food, flowers, art, beauty and others. Invented by dan garcia :)

How to gimmage

1. Go to google image search
2. Search for anything pleasant. For instance - "roses"

3. Highlight the URL or the web address > COPY
4. Go to Google's URL Shortening service


5. Paste the URL > Click Shorten
6. Share shortened URL on social networks or on blog with catchy description: For instance,

Something edible and red http://goo.gl/6JwSW symbolizes passionate love :)

7. A Pleasant Surprise!

Home Alone

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Google Art Project


Google has been becoming artsy as of late and has recently launched a new project meant for the appreciation of art. Called the Google Art Project, the website is an avant-garde embodiment of the human soul - in digital format. The website is practically Google Street View - only inside different museums.

A navigation panel enables you to traverse what used to be no camera zones and let you look at art up close and in high definition.

From the Google Art Project: The Prodigal Son Returns
The most innovative aspect to the new project is that it lets you "go inside" museums in a way that is very familiar with the navigation controls of Google Street View. It lets you move forward as if actually traversing the floors of the Van Gogh Museum. Of course, the museum experience wouldn't be complete if you cannot look closer or zoom in on a Rembrandt or on a Van Gogh.

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Reeves Fine Oil Colours Sets set of 12

Score another one for Google's dedication to organizing the world's art.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Wonderful Guests!

A humble feast of 'pochero', milkfish and 'bulalo'



Anthony climbing a coconut tree

Halfway through

Almost there...

There!

Wonderful

The bounty is at hand

There ya go!

The feast :)

Advanced birthday :)

Chocolate cake, daddy forgot the candles...

Guests :)

So my guests fixed my door, brought us food, gave us some cash and even washed the dishes!

:)

Yep, it's now working perfectly A-OK :)