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Friday, August 15, 2008

Hamilton, Bermuda

One of my passions in life is to capture life through my lenses. I'm nowhere near at professional level but trying to learn each time I venture outdoors with my Nikon D40X kits. SmileyCentral.com These are one of the 'decent' shots I took on Boxing Day last year. Take a peek at Bermuda's capital: Hamilton.
Hamilton - Seaview
Hamilton - Shopping Area
Bermuda Cathedral - Church of the Most Holy Trinity
Time to catch the pink bus!
Bermuda Central Bus Terminal

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why Expats ignore fellow Expats?

Earlier, my husband mentioned about a post he read from one of the "Expat forums in the Philippines". The topic was "Why expats never acknowledge each other when they bump into each other?"
It has been my question too for a long time. And this happens not only to expatriates in the Philippines but also to expats around the world. I asked Sean once before, "Why you never greet nor acknowledge the other English people that you bump into and vice versa?" He shrugged and replied, "They are just another group of strangers." Filipinos, by nature, are very friendly, courteous and smile a lot even in times of difficulties. However, these traits aren't always present when Filipinos live and work in other countries. I think, expats' attitude (from any nation) toward fellow expats are affected by and in some way, adapt to the culture of their present country of residence.

With that said, I would like to ask other expatriates, do you acknowledge your own countrymen?

On the contrary, people hardly take notice of others in the neighbourhood, not even the one living next door. When the time comes that one has to work abroad, these questions pop to some people's minds: "Why should we greet a total stranger even if he or she comes from our homeland? Should we suddenly be courteous? Or should we acknowledge fellow expats with hypocritical politeness? Do we really have to? Who cares? Nevertheless, I can only speak for myself. Seeing other Filipino expats is a pure delight and pride. More importantly, having the chance to meet other expatriates is one of the good therapies for homesickness. Longing for loved ones and motherland can be very depressing. Worse, it can be exacerbated by unfamiliar environment and/or foreign culture. I know this feeling very well because I've been living in different countries the past decade. With that said, I would like to ask other expatriates, do you acknowledge your own countrymen?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vertical Lines on Qosmio G20

A week ago, a pink vertical line appeared across my G20 screen. I've contemplated doing a research about this as soon as I saw this pink vertical line but thought this line might go away or fade. However, a new line has appeared next to it today and it's yellow. Therefore it's time to google it. ^.~
I found out that I'm not the only one having this "vertical lines on screen" issue. The same happens also to other models and on other brands. Some say, the culprit is the graphics card while others say that screen is dying i.e. needs replacing. To test whether it's a graphic card problem or just the screen, I hooked up my G20 to a PC monitor. (To change display to the external monitor, press FN+F5.) Result: no vertical lines appearing on the external monitor. Hence, my G20 screen is indeed going down the "death row". SmileyCentral.com I'll wait until we land and settle in the "Pearl of the Orient Seas" before deciding on ordering for a replacement. bbl

Flipbook of My Beautiful Baby

SmileyCentral.comThis is a flipbook of my son's random photos from 8 months old to 2 and a half years old. He helped with the creation (i.e. picking and placement of the accessories:
To rate or comment, view full size. or make your own.
More to come soon!

8 More Ways to Avoid Germs

1. Don't Touch the First Floor Elevator Button!

In an elevator, the first-floor button harbors the most germs because more people touch it than any other button. If you can, let someone else push it so you don't have to touch it.

If you're alone, use your elbow instead of your finger to press the button. [Use your elbow even if others are there. Who cares if they think you're a little strange!]

(Geca: I always get that "strange look". - I use tissue to touch buttons. or better yet, just climb up the steps! )

2. Dangerous Shopping Cart Handles

Shopping cart handles are prime culprits in the spread of germs. Some supermarkets now offer germ-killing towelette dispensers in the cart area. Bring your own if they don't. Use them to sanitize the cart handle — and never put fresh produce in the cart seat, where diaper-aged children often sit.

3. Watch Those Escalator Handrails

Escalator handrails are loaded with germs. Don't touch them if you can manage without it.

4. Use the First Toilet

Research shows that most people use the middle stall in public bathrooms, so avoid those. More use means they're the dirtiest and have the most germs.

(Geca: well, it doesn't really matter... as long as you are 'equipped' with anti-bacterial wipes or gel then you're good to go)

5. Office Coffee Pots Dripping With Disease

Your office coffee pot and mug may have been cleaned with a sponge dripping with germs. Hang on to your own mug, and use a dishwasher when it's time to clean it. Another trick: Keep apple cider vinegar in the office and pour a water-cider solution through the coffee machine weekly. It will help kill bacteria.

(Geca: Bring your own coffee flask! and wash it yourself to make sure it is "cleaned".)

6. Kitchen Woes

Be aware that kitchen sponges, dishcloths, the kitchen and bathroom sinks, cutting boards, and even the bathroom floor carry more germs than the toilet seat.

New research suggests that if you want to sterilize your sponge, put it in the microwave for two minutes.

A team of engineering researchers at the University of Florida found that two minutes of microwaving on full power killed or inactivated more than 99 percent of bacteria, viruses, or parasites, as well as spores, on a kitchen sponge.

(Geca: After each use, rinse the sponge with hot soapy water, wring it out and stand on its side to dry - NOT laying down!)

7. Your Desk Is Dirtier Than the Toilet

Get this: the typical office desk area has 400 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat. Worst offenders: first, the office phone. Then the desk. Finally, the keyboard. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean the desktop, computer keyboard, and phone.

8. Avoid Hand Shaking or Kissing "during the Flu season"

This may be an impossibility for some. But try to avoid shaking hands or kissing during the flu season.

While there are many steps in preventing disease, perhaps the most important is to wash your hands frequently.

Scrub your hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 to 20 seconds after using the bathroom; eating, working, or playing outdoors; playing with pets; or coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Anything less than 15 seconds won't do the job.

Incredibly, 95 percent of people say they wash their hands after using the bathroom, but only 67 percent really do it. Worse, only 33 percent bother to use soap, and only 16 percent wash their hands long enough to remove germs.

One last caveat: Everyone is doing the "antibacterial craze" — getting soaps and wipes that kill germs. Dr. Russell Blaylock suggests occasional use of these products is fine, but frequent use may be bad.

Why?

The antibacterials also kill the good bacteria on your skin that your body needs to defend against the bad bacteria.

(Geca: oopppsss! OK I won't wash hands way too much! This germophobe fever is over-the-top! )

Germs — bacteria and viruses — not only threaten us, they can kill. There's no harm in being extra cautious! ^.~

Germophobe ~ Follow-Up

With reference to "Germophobe" I posted a couple of days ago, here are some ways we can avoid catching germs outdoors (and bringing them home and multiply with home-based germs) as recommended by Connie Morbach, scientist and germ expert: - Keep purses off the floor! Connie says they won't be exposed to as many germs if you keep them off the floor especially in a restroom or restaurant. Geca: never ever ever put your purses down on any floor! - Carry a hook: You'll always have a spot above the floor for your purse if you bring a hook. Geca: Wipe off everything before you touch anything with your bare hands or before hanging your purse on a hook. If there's no hook, just keep your purse on your shoulder. :P - Use anti-bacterial wipes: If you do need to place your bag on a park bench or in a grocery store cart where juices may drip from turkey and chicken packs, Connie suggests using an anti-bacterial wipe if the bag is leather. "Wipe it off. Make it part of the day," she instructs. "Would you walk on your kitchen counter before you made dinner? Probably not, but if your purse has been sitting on the floor in a restroom, in a restaurant, or on a grocery cart where food has spilled ... it's the same as carrying those items home and serving them for dinner." For cloth purses she suggests using Febreze antimicrobial spray but says the best approach is to wash your bag. Geca: You can never be too careful. Stay away from germs to stay healthy. bbl

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