Chatting with my daughter

Jamie is 3 years old and she can’t read but can recognize a few words. Since she knows how to use the computer running on Windows, she can do basic stuff like turning on, turning off, opening several application, browsing going to, Disney playhouse and opening Yahoo Messenger. She knows my name on Yahoo Messenger and uses my wife account or whoever’s account is online that time.

Sometimes I am chatting with my wife, or whoever at home, and when she stands up and Jamie goes on the computer, she then sometimes chats with me. And sometimes I have no idea I am chatting with her since she types in the words:

  • ok
  • opo (respectful yes in Filipino)
  • yes
  • no
  • hu u (chat lingo: who you?)

And sometimes I am already saying some stuff thinking my wife is on the other side, agreeing to what I am saying and it is just Jamie on the other end saying “ok” even if she can’t read anything yet.

It’s a weekend again and everyday is a busy day!

Work is busy, so many rush stuff.

Business is so busy, at least I got my FAQs and Support Ticket Programs up and running. I also tried my latest SEO Reporting program on a website. All working flawlessly right now.

Registering of my business entity as a Nevada S-Corp happens this month.

Several new hosting deals and domains, and one design/development/SEO client. One problem backlogged website and one in progress that needs to be done asap.
Things to come are: Marcia’s paper work which will be my top priority when I get them and work on my family’s migration here. Several small niche specific small income generating websites. The Learning Annex’ Real Estate Convention with Robert and Kim Kiyosaki and Donald Trump and spending the night at cousin Marivic Arriola-Campos. Tax preparations before April 15 deadline. I still have to monitor all bills to pay and other stuff.

Ok back to work… c’ ya around.

New Blog Template

Hi, I was using the WordPress Default template by Kubrick, and I did several customizations to it and it got all erased after I upgraded WordPress from 2.0 to 2.0.1. So now I made it a point, if ever I am going to customize my template, I will not do to the default one and keep it in the default folder. So they do not get overwritten when upgraded.

I searched for an ideal template to modify and I found this Neat template. I did modify it a bit with some PHP magic and made my header graphic randomly changing every page load with pictures I have taken myself. A complete set of the pictures feature on the header portion of this page can be found here.
I did several changes adding in my adsense where and there. I also did my wife a favor, redoing her own blog template. And guess what, she wanted our picture on the blog. Haha. Now I still have to work on Ate Dawn’s and Jamie’s Blogs, but I need to work also, so I will get to those later on.

For Jamie

I know Jamie is only 3 years old, this may be too advanced for her. But this is not for her to make, this is only for her to realize. Realization of the possibility is sometimes what will drive her do more better things. To show her that what you see, you can recreate is already a powerful thing to me. It lessens the losers in the world that easily say: I can’t do that.

I was a Lego® child since 4, but my real big Lego® sets came in at the age of 6. All these sets are now Jamie’s. Some people say Jamie is smart, and they are judging this on how she speaks. At the age of 3 she can do interesting conversations, has nice pronunciation, and knows a bunch of stuff. But this is not what I am looking for at this moment. I want her to wonder how things work, can see symmetry, color balance and uniformity, do simple jigsaw puzzles, get to count in small numbers and get a simple concept of length units. Talking is nice, sounds smart, but even up to college, there are a lot of good talkers that know nothing. The government in any country has a lot of them.

I like Lego® since it gives you simple rules of measurement, where you measure in the unit of Lego® “dots” which are the circle heads that connect each part. Designing something, from a tree, a house, stairs, whatever, teaches simple symmetry and alignment. Sometimes you are already teaching simple math without knowing it. In centering alone, just tell Jamie, ang ganda ng gawa mo, pero igitna mo ito… and if she ask paano or she says naka gitna naman, bring in the counting of circles on both sides. Just start with that and she will learn more as time goes on. She will learn about planes of symmetry, lines and planes and 3d space without knowing that she is learning. Turning objects in her head. And when school comes… she will appreciate more the number line, the mid point, median, mean, the dot, circle and sphere, area and perimeter, union and intersection. It is just asking her to make the right things.

Anyway… we will have a good Lego® session when I get home this December. Right now, just show her these pictures, do not ask her to do it, because if you do, and she can’t, frustration comes in. And when frustrated, it really depends on the person, sometimes, the more motivated they get to do it, or some totally give up. Jamie is too young to get totally motivated to get to do it when failure arises, although I have seen my trait of having this attitude as early as 6 years old in playing video games or any game. And a common line I would hear from my dad is: And hina-hina mo naman. accompanied with a laugh since he always did better. I do not plan to do that with my children, it will depend on how I see their motivation to do better is working for them.

Famous work of some artist. Famous, but I do not know who the artist is.

The recreated artwork in Lego®

I got the pictures from

I feel bad, I feel good

I feel bad…

…so many projects, so little time.

…some delayed, way delayed.

…so many clients, so many customer support inquiries, so little sleep.

…Philippine Web Awards, still need to do judging, so little time.

…program on registration, database, etc for the San Diego Taekwondo Championship on October 29.

…Pritchon, Martal, JLM, Some work on Mansmith, Waters coming soon…

…so many clients wanting to resell, waiting for my go signals on many matters… Lex’s signup forms, JL’s plans.

…Server administration… *&&@#$%^^&#@!% you hackers. You make life harder.

…YDS Website, forever under construction, PayPlus+ integration, trouble ticket, FAQs, billing system…

…Hosting clients with super delayed payments. Don’t worry I am not going to mention who you are. Your domains are going to get stolen.

…Computer problems, still some important files on my hard disk fried by the Sept 20 San Diego lightning storm.

…two YDS websites out of competition at the Philippine Web Awards.

…zero money, bought plane tickets.

I feel good…

…my family loves me.

…I am going home in the Philippines in December. Vacation approved. Leave at Dec 3. Come back on Dec 27.

…First salary after my increase, (but does not mean i have more money, it means I can pay the bills easier.)

…New Domain and Hosting Client, Gema just paid for her domain transfer.

…One YDS website got into the semifinals of the Philippine Web Awards., please vote for her site. Visit, register and vote.

…Amor helping out the company

…Wifi at North Olympus home on Monday. #@#$%$&^# that DSL. Never came to us.

…100+ clients, I can’t memorize them anymore, I remember in 1999, I know each and every domain, I even know configuration settings of each one. I can easily login remembering everything. Clients never got more than hmmm… 30 I guess. Today 100+ clients paying on a regular renew, just make them happy so they do not go away.

…I am alive, clean living. God is alive.

…I am starting to learn more about my Dad’s decision making.

Life is Good… Life Sucks… But still good… But still sucks.

I love this game!

Games for the family

I love this game is the famous slogan of the NBA. Though I am not really into basketball, I like games, all sorts of games, from sports to board games, and card games.

I have a friend from college days where we king of had a deal where I receive some products that her husband ordered from somewhere here in the United States that I consolidate and put together in a single box and send to the Philippines for them to save on shipping cost, where I had some space that I can put some stuff in to send to my family.

After going to the toy store… I bought Jamie more Lego. I know she already inherited a large part of my old Lego sets, she has enough parts to be so creative to make something with all those parts, but I still decided to buy her a small box of Lego parts. She has just turned 3 years old. This time, I made it a point; the one I buy is something that has instructions already. Lego instructions are very nice. No words, just pictures, with easy to follow instructions. It shows the blocks, how they go together step by step. This way I get Jamie working on how to follow diagrams early on. A few more years, I will give her more complex sets, where sometimes a lot of counting is required. Sometimes just centering a Lego piece on a large piece, requires you to count the circle studs on both ends of what you are centering. It helps early on a better understanding of more complex things when she grows up. Centering is all about symmetry, you use it a lot of times in school, from the simple number line, to geometry, to calculus. Soon she may learn about ratio and proportion when she decides to change the size of what she is building. I like Lego because the circle studs are actually units of measurement that kids use to compute at an early age. I myself grew up with Lego, and was thinking at an early age, joined a Lego competition, and started playing with technical sets in high school. Technical sets are already early physics applications even without learning physics right away. But that will all be up to Jamie if she enjoys it. All I can do is influence but not enforce. Since enforcing the games to play may give a negative effect. All I can do is show the beauty of this toy. It is game right there. Challenging yourself to do things out of blocks that are nothing but blocks when not together, but can form something beautiful with a creative mind when put together.

For Ate Dawn, I bought her one of my favorite board games, Clue by Parker Brothers. In the Philippines and many other Asian countries, it was sold as Cluedo for some reason I do not know. But my guess it could be due to a registered trademark thing in other countries where they did not get an international trademark for Clue. So in other countries, they change the name. But that is only my guess, it can also be a marketing reason related to branding.

Clue makes you think, it is more of a deductive process thinking game. At the start of the game you are clueless, but as the game progresses, clues get more and more and you start to make wise decisions using simple probabilities (even without statistics lessons) to get the right answer. The more clues come out, the more deductive processing you will do, the more probable answers you make, the more you get closer to winning. Although there is some element of luck that can make you win, but the best of luck is made when you make more probable decisions. In life this is like minimizing risk. Risk is always there, but if you know how to minimize it, the better and more successful you may be.

My influence, my Dad who liked playing games

While shopping for these games… just by looking at each one, it reminds me of many memories of me playing the games. From Sorry, Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Mastermind, Boogle, Connect Four (In the Philippines and other Asian countries this was known as Bingo Chess) to games only found in the Philippines like the original Filipino game called “Games of the Generals” sometimes nicknamed Salpakan. Up to the many card games I played as a kid and even Mahjong.

While buying these made me realize that the reason I am buying them because I believe it is good for the family. It encourages us to think while having fun. It made me realize if I had these games when I was a kid, it was my dad who bought them. Which made me smile since I see the benefit of the games, I see what he was doing. Since that is what I am doing now. My dad loved to play games and he wins a lot of times whatever game we played. He just learns the rules and comes up with a strategy from there. He analyzes the game and thinks of the best ways to win. He also identifies his weaknesses and strengths as well as the weaknesses and strengths of the opponents and uses his strengths to overcome the opponent’s weaknesses. Sound like a lot of thinking, but it is not that confusing as you think. It sometimes happens in a few minutes while playing the game. My dad was also a good bluffer, he makes you think he is planning on some move and at the last minute, he has a different master plan. He also sees the big picture of game, not only concentrating on how to win, but he also sees what his opponents are trying to do win.

And I guess I inherited the same habit of liking to play games too and started playing how my dad plays. During my age was the start of the video game era. Atari 2600 was what I played on and Nintendo made simple handheld games that played only one game with lousy graphics. This is where I was doing eye-hand coordination, something my dad did not learn since these games did not exist during his time. Some of the games were reflex types and as my dad tried playing them, his reaction time was too slow for games like those. I was like 10 years old then. About 10 years later… before my dad past away, he was bed ridden for more than a year. We had a brick game them, the Philippine sidewalks got filled with brick games which are nothing but game consoles that can only play one game which is the famous Russian made game or Tetris. My dad was down but he was not out, and he still like playing and his eye-hand coordination, his reflex improved even during the last days of his life.

I remembered when I ask my wife Marcia what card games she plays, she said none, basically because card games had a negative impression on Marcia. And not only that, I noticed that in my mom-in-law too. In the Philippines, when you say card games, they always think of 3 games, Pusoy, Pusoy Dos and Tong-its. Three games often played with money as a betting game. So there is some negative impression with cards thinking it is all about gambling. I grew up with a lot of card games, Rummy, Gin Rummy, Crazy 8, Pequa, Trump, Bluff, Speed, Poker, 41, Blackjack, Lucky 9 to the very simple 123 pass and Monkey-Monkey. All these games promote thinking. Mahjong is a very good thinking game, but some people just see the gambling part of it.

Recent games I played

I like playing an online game, Yahoo Pool. Unlike other games today that consume a lot of time, and some you even have to pay, Yahoo Pool those not consume a lot of hours unless you play over and over again. I am not the best player of this game, but I know all the rules and play within these rules. And during the play of this simple game, a lot of decision making happens. Mainly the questions I ask myself are:

– What will I choose to be, solid or stripe?
– What will be the next best ball to shoot?
– Where will my cue ball go after this shot to shoot my next best ball to shoot?
– For sure I cannot get anything in, what is the best thing to do so the opponent can’t do anything or will have a harder time for his next shot?

While most people, I noticed they just shoot and shoot, the balls nearest to the cue ball and nearest to them not thinking where the cue ball goes or what is the next best shot to take, and not considering how strong they supposed to strike. There are a few good players that I know are good just based on they choice of balls they shoot and where they place the cue ball. These people I ask if I can add them to my Yahoo Messenger so when I see them online again playing pool, I go and challenge them again.

For every player, there is a rating system. Every new player gets a rating of 1,200. The more games you win, the rating goes up. The more you lose, the rating goes down. If you beat a high rated player, the more rating increase you get for that win, and the more your opponent loses. If you beat a low rated player, you still get an increase in rating, but is very low.

I find it funny when people get scared of your rating. They just see the numbers. Once you have a rating of 1,300 and higher, you get fewer people that want to play with you. When you get a rating of 1,400 to 1,500, the people that play with you either have a high rating too, or are not aware of the rating system and do not care about it. If you reach 1,600, you are like a superstar and a few people actually come to you to challenge you. Beyond that I do not know since I never reached a rating of 1,700 or higher.

I have encountered people with high ratings that do not want to play with other high rated people. They only play with low rated people. They are the people looking for beginners so their rating goes up. I used to play that way that is why I know. You try to get your rating up and you are afraid to lose it, so you only play with the beginners. Each win, you get like an additional 5 points per win. When my skill got better, I was more confident to play with higher rated players. When I see a higher rated player, the more I am attracted to play with them. Because when you win, you get about 30+ points in your rating. With just 3 games, you are like higher by another hundred. This is the fast lane.

Some people think that a higher rated player is better than them, that is all they look at. But the real numbers to look at is how many games this person has played and how many wins and losses does he have. The larger the number of the difference of wins versus losses, the better this player is, especially if the number of times the game has been played is large too.

Playing a new game

The day I set foot on US ground, I knew I would be playing a whole new game. Up to now I am still learning the rules of the game. So far I found out, most of the basic rules are the same as it was for my company in the Philippines. Same selling techniques, same marketing… the difference lies mainly in minor cultural differences and the law. And the only way to get into the game and win it big is to learn the difference in the rules of the game and play with a strategy based on these rules.

So far with this game I play, winning has been happening, but winning small. I haven’t been going for the big fishes yet since I still need some knowledge gathering on how this game is played. In the meantime, I have been catching the small easy fishes where each small fish that went for the bait give one small lesson at a time in preparation for my big fish catch.

Like in Yahoo Pool, I also loose, but I also win. It is not my rating I am looking at, but at the number of times I win, and the number of times I lose. I lose, but I do not make suicide moves. And I try to win big. While others try to win small, like playing with the small rated players, they win, but they win small too, afraid to lose their rating.

I do business by the numbers I make. I may lose some, but I do not lose big time. I make calculated risk, I may win, I may lose. But if I win, I will win it big time. If I lose, I learn from the even and make me wiser in the next events. People that are afraid to play the high rated people are like those that save money in the bank, since there is that small interest the bank gives. It increases, but very slow.

I know someone who is married. But does not want to have children yet, simply for him, children are expenses. For me children are happiness. We may be in the same company, earning the same, but I go for the big fish. I am not afraid to play with the high ranked Yahoo Pool players. I lose, I also win. But then I win, I will win big. The more knowledgeable you are, the more risk decreases in probability. The more people play it safe, avoiding losing everything, the slower they get better. And their fear is mainly because of the lack of knowledge.

My Concepts?

Nope, although the attitude is already my attitude, my game strategies are mainly from my dad. Applying these game principles in business is mainly Robert Kiyosaki’s principles. I have been reading his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and I highly recommend it. It is a very good book.

The first time I heard about this book was from a former partner in business, Terence Teves. He idolized Robert kiyosaki and had nothing but good words about the book. But I never gave the time to read it.

After some time, I met Pepet Macachor and Ray Alcoseba. Businessmen I knew, they invited me to a gathering of people playing Cash Flow, a game by Robert Kiyosaki. They did this every Friday night to early morning. It always started with a talk, some sharing of a business person and shares how the game helps him/her in their business. When I attended the meeting with Marcia, when the talk was over, Marcia wanted to go home already, so I was not able to play the game.

While working at Informatics Computer Institute, the manager, the owner of the franchise, Danny Lim and Cecille Lim once talked to me about business and we talked about books. I remember telling them about the book The Millionaire Next Door and they told me about Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. But then again, I did not read the book right away.

While teaching at Informatics, one of my students in a computer crash course, George Arriola Pimentel who owned a franchise of SOS Save on Surplus also shared about the book when we were talking about business.

Recently, I had lunch with a co-worker, a writer, Matt Greene and a web support staff Mook Choi. As we were talking about business, we talked about books, The Millionaire Next Door, 101 Ways to Promote Yourself, The 30 Minute Manager, and the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. And he was actually reading the book that time and had it in his bag.

Realizing that the book is pretty cheaper here in the US that is was in the Philippines and there are used books that are even cheaper, I decided to buy one 2 weeks ago online. For the two weeks of reading it, all I can say is I highly recommend it. It is for anyone who wants to have a more secure financial future and it is like a must for any business owner.

Daryl Coming Soon!

Yeah, Daryl is sis-in-laws baby in her womb. This very minute… she will be brought to the hospital to give birth. I’m sure the three kids would be excited to see their new cousin.

ADHD? Hyperactive? Energy?

Taken from MSN

My child can’t seem to sit still. Could she be hyperactive? What can I do?

Toddlers are an active bunch. And because they have lots of energy to burn, many of them are just like your little one, unable to sit in one place for long. That’s why traditionally doctors reassure parents not to worry about hyperactivity at this age, and have rarely diagnosed children under the age of 5 with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recently, however, a spate of news articles and research studies has shown that more children this age are being diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medications such as Ritalin and Prozac to help them cope. But most experts continue to believe that it’s a mistake to prescribe medication for toddlers and preschoolers, especially as the side effects of these medications haven’t been well studied in young children.

If your toddler’s activity level is causing you concern, you may want to speak with your doctor about it. But the most important thing you can do is help her find as many outlets as possible for her abundant energy. Schedule frequent visits to the playground so she can run and climb to her heart’s content. If you’re indoors, turn on the radio or pop in a CD and get her dancing. You may want to join in the fray yourself (dancing, after all, increases the heart rate and keeps limbs loose, a plus for both adults and children). And if you can’t play with your child — for instance, when you’re cooking dinner — give her something to do instead of expecting her to sit quietly and wait for you. Loan her a few pots and pans and encourage her to use her toys as “ingredients” for a meal she cooks alongside you. The blocks can be mushrooms, and the puzzle pieces can be meat. Sing a song together as you cook, or catch up on your respective days.

You can help interest your child in sustained quiet activities by introducing them selectively and letting her participate at her own level. For example, if she doesn’t seem to enjoy sitting on your lap to listen to a story, let her sit on the floor or wander around the room. If you add a lot of enthusiasm to your reading — funny voices and animal sounds are big attention-getters — she’ll be hooked and will pay more attention.

Rhythm is a great outlet; if you can stand the noise, encourage her to pound on drums or shake a pair of maracas. Musical instruments help focus her energy on one activity, while allowing her to play vigorously and work out her emotions. And remember, your child is more likely to play with her toys if you play with her. If she’s under 2, she’ll rarely play for long on her own.

Finally, limit the amount of time you ask her to sit still. If it’s important to you that she sit still at dinnertime, then get her involved in something physical before dinner so she’ll be ready for some quiet time. And if five minutes is her limit for staying in her chair, praise her for her good mealtime behavior and let her go.

Hay nakoooowww Jamie

Recently Jamie did something she really should never do. She is just one brave kid doing crazy stuff and how I felt on what she has done made me also reflect on how my parents felt when I did tons on crazy stuff when I was young. It was a very hard kind of feeling to bear especially that I am so far away. But Jamie being the big little kid she is already learned her lessons all by herself. She knows that what she did should not be done again even if we do not tell her. She knows it herself. She will be 3 in August and I know she may forget a lot of stuff at the age of two. I barely remember things about myself at that age. But people remember a few things that are really stressful, exciting, fearing, anything where the emotions are at an extreme, they seem to be saved in a deeper sector of the mind that this data can be easily recalled when needed.

I think Jamie has one of these already. She might have feared what she has done. But as she grows older, this is what I fear. Courage builds up as time passes by. Courage increases as knowledge increases. Courage increases are fear decreases as people learn to overcome their fears and become more knowledgeable of their mistakes. And something that a person may have fear of before, will have an easier time of doing it again unless they were traumatized. Knowing how Jamie thinks, actually knowing how I think too… which is what I fear is she might be thinking the same way. She might repeat the mistake she has done before thinking she’ll do better the next time. This attitude is actually a positive thing since you can see the learning process especially if applied in school and sports. But in other things you should not do, I do not think that is correct.

What ever Jamie did wrong, I have a long history of it. From 3 years old, up to highschool to college days. Jamie started even earlier than me, 2 years old. Now I can imagine how nervous my Mom was when I was kid.

But taking a look at Marcia, and how Jamie’s ate’s are. Her ate’s have a very large respect for their Mom. They follow their Mom and love their Mom so much. And I am very optimistic Jamie will grow up the same way. And I hope she does not grow up getting a bad trait I had that always kept my parents on their toes as I was kid. Courage is good, but doing something you don’t supposed to is not good at all.