Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When the socks in my shoes got wet

For the past two days, I've been soaked wet going home. As if by an appointed time, and twice in a row at that, just when I was about to disembark from the bus I was riding at, that the rains begin to pour. And for the past two days, it was a tremendous downpour. I feel as if the heaven's are having fun, like splashing bucketloads of water into people. Ahh, but on a different light, I can see people rhythmically throtting and going in the same direction for a cover. As if choreographed, people would open their umbrellas in a coordinated beat. But if Gene Kelly is a Filipino, would he be caught waddling the flooded streets of Manila in his tuxedo, singing in the rain?

Apparently, there's a typhoon, and his (or is it her) name is MARCE. I wonder how they name typhoon names. I think that in the 1990's PAGASA asked the public for suggestions because prior to it, all typhoon names are female names. And baroque names at that, like those of Bebeng, Undang and Bising.  It's really archaic.

I just love the way meteorologists would describe movements and status of the weather. Here’s one example of the latest weather report about Typhoon Marce:

Issued At: 5:00 p.m., 10 September 2008
Synopsis : At 2:00 p.m. today, Typhoon "MARCE" was located based on radar, satellite
and surface data at 230 kms East of Basco, Batanes (20.3°N 124.2°E) with
maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to
185 kph. It is forecast to move North Northwest at 07 kph.

It said Marce was “located” as if at one time or another, the typhoon get lost and again found. Like a game of hide and seek? I love the word “gustiness” too. It gives personality to the typhoon. Gusty!

In PAGASA's site, they have an archive of typhoon tracks (or directions) in jpeg format from year 2001 to 2005. On an average for those period, we had 19 typhoons per year. There is also a link for the "Most Destructive Tropical Cyclones" from 1948 to 2000, categorized monthly, with at least two or three of the most destructive typhoons per month. From that period, Typhoon Nitang (31 Aug to 04 Sep. 1984) had the most casualties with 1,492 while Typhoon Ruping (10 to 14 Nov. 1990) did the most damage in the amount of Php 10,276.5M, followed by Typhoon Rosing (30 Oct. - 04 Nov. 1995) at Php 9,330.4M. But I think Milenyo in 2006 was the most violent typhoon I have ever witnessed. Never before have I seen so many trees uprooted and billboards tumbled. I saw a billboard in Magallanes toppled on top of a bus, and even the large “S” sign in SM’s Mall of Asia went down.

Still, I prefer rainy days than the searing heat and the humid air summer brings.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Burgers, fries... and buckets of urine?

As we were waiting before a scheduled meeting inside a client's office in Makati, I grabbed a magazine in their rack nearby. It could be a good time to keep updated about current events. Recently, I have been fascinated with the hoopla surrounding the US presidential nominations. McCain's selection of a female nominee for vice president, who was virtually unknown, aroused different reactions. So I thought it might be interesting to read some news about it. I picked The Economist September 6 Issue and was reading about news and views about the Republican National Convention. I found the following news amusing:

Outside the Republican convention, largely peaceful protesters were marred by a few thugs who smashed windows. More violent disruptions were avoided, however, because police informants infiltrated a gang of anarchists who were allegedly planning them. Police seized weapons and buckets of urine, apparently intended for throwing at people.

Lawyers for some of those arrested demanded the return of their possessions. "Who should we return the urine to?" asked the judge, according to the Star Tribune, a local paper.

I wonder where the world is going to.

On a lighter note, after we had a training in Eastwood this afternoon, I and my officemate Claude went to a popular burger chain for a snack. Her treat. Burgers, fries and soda. As we were chatting, she dissected the burger, separated one halfbun from another, arranged and piled one fry in a column on top of the patty, poured catchup on top of the fries, and put the sandwhich back together again.

Curioused and at the same time amused, i thought i might as well give it a try. Interestingly, except for the crisp whenever i would bite, i could never tell the taste of the french fries apart from the burger.

It made me remember when i was a kid and i didn't like what was prepared on the dining table, I would pour either condensed milk, sugar or powdered chocolate drink (Milo), or whatever sweet is available over hot cooked rice. Somehow, I still do something similar whenever I would eat a bar of chocolate. I get a spoonful of rice to somehow dispel the "oversweetness" of the chocolate. Call it quirky? Claude revealed that she used to put rice in coffee in a bowl.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Vision

This is not something about my future plans. But it's related to my vision. I woke up early and saw heavy deposits of mucus on the lower right side of my right eyelid. On my way to work, i thought it was getting worse so I had to immediately go to our clinic when I arrived. The nurse did not give me any medication. I guess she was hesitant to give me anything she isn't sure of. I was instead advised to have a check up with an opthalmologist. I know she is not a doctor but I wonder what is good of a nurse in a clinic if she can't even recommend anything than that of pointing me to go to a doctor anyway? CPR i guess? Speaking of vision, the nurse is a pretty sight to behold. Perhaps I'd go there again next time.

So I took a leave. But of course I first had to tell my boss of the nurse's diagnosis and recommendation. It's funny how she reacted when I mentioned that the nurse suspects it must be "sore eyes". Specially when I mentioned that it's not necessary that I touch anything in order to infect, because if it's viral infecting could be airborne. She looked at me as if to say "Don't go near me! Get out of here! Right now! I mean it!" Incidentally, I learned that the term sore eyes is most common in the Philippines. In other countries, they call it red eye or pink eye. Medically, it's called conjunctivitis. I didn't learn that from the nurse.

At the hospital, I was surprised to see a lot of patients lined up in the opthalmology. Most of them are already in their past sixties. Perhaps weakening of the eyesight is one of the earliest indicator of ageing. I thought it was hair loss. But of course hair loss is more visible, and sometimes affect even those who are not aged yet. It must be the genes.

As I'm waiting for my name to be called, I thought of those people who are diagnosed to be terminally ill, and are given specific timeline. It made me think, what would I do if I am given months, or days to live? How would I react? Of course it would be a far fetched idea for someone to have a sore in the eye and be diagnosed terminally ill. Or is it? What could be worse? Say, the loss of eyesight in one of the eyes? Well, I haven't given it much thought. Even worse would be to go totally blind. But which could be more difficult, someone born blind or someone who experienced sight and eventually became blind?

More than that, my actual worry is of how much the prescription would cost this time. I'm not worried about the doctor's professional fee. My HMO card would cover that, but the medicine won't be. I wonder if he would prescribe a patch in the eye ala-Jack Sparrow, that would be cool. Still, how much would that patch cost? My fear was right, when I went out of the doctor's room, her nurse read the prescription and mentioned that it may not be available in the local drug stores. So where could I possibly buy one? Well, you're guess is as good as mine. And of course, i had to shell out Manuel Roxas and his two siblings. But then again, I won't trade them for an eye.

Speaking of the eyes, I think I might as well research on the difference between an opthalmologist and an optometrist. Basically, i think when you consult each one of them, the former would recommend surgery and the latter would recommend a pair of eyeglasses.