Monday, January 25, 2010

Sun Broadband Speed

Last Christmas, I made a post about our activities during the holidays. One of our gifts that my wife and I shared was to buy a new desktop computer. We figured that we really need a computer since most of the time we do our blogging activities after work or during weekends. After buying a desktop computer, I decided to purchase a broadband modem from Sun Cellular so we can go online at home immediately without waiting for approval from cable companies who offer DSL internet connection. I decided to get Sun instead of Smartbro and Globe Tattoo since at that time it was the cheapest and a few friends told me the connection is good.

Just like any other advertisements we see on the tv and print, Sun Cellular is no different. They claim that you can get a speed of as high as 3.6 mbps but the truth, after using their services for almost a month now, i cannot even get a connection close to 1.0 mbps. The average speed i get is 120 kbps. That is not even 25% of the speed they claim you can get when you decide to use their services. Most of the time, i get 0.15 kbps and sometimes i just get disconnected after being online for a few hours. Is Sun offering broadband internet or dial-up? Frankly, i could not tell the difference because of their broadband snail speed. Now, to be fair to them, i understand that broadband signal depends on the location. Presently I am located here in Quezon City just 10 minutes away from Cubao or Eastwood, Libis. Is my location difficult to reach? Is this one of Sun Cellular's dead spot?

Hopefully their services will get better in a few months. But my wife and I cannot wait for their improvements. We were just talking yesterday about our friends experiences with other companies. If our budget permits, we might consider trying Smartbro or Bayantel. I did not include PLDT to our choices since our connection at the office is PLDT and we had several bad experiences with them. I know Smart and PLDT are managed by the same people but I hope Smartbro is better than what we have right now. Our connection right now is really bad. Hopefully people considering to avail of their services will think twice. But then again, you can always give the lame excuse of location problems.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Car Aircondition Repair

I recently had my car air conditioning unit repaired. The car I am driving is a Honda Civic 1995 Esi model and according to my trusted repairman, the aircon unit is still original. The aircon started to struggle a few days back and just last weekend, it finally came to a stop, i could not turn the unit on anymore. I considered getting a surplus unit from Japan, since brand new compressors costs more than 12k (surplus costs at least half). I decided to leave my car for one whole day at the repair shop and to my surprise, the repairman told me the compressor unit is still good and he decided to replace just a few parts. Although it is cheaper compared to getting a surplus unit, it is still a big dent to my savings.

Knowing the aircon unit is still original, this shows that Honda Civic parts are really very durable. The car is already 15 years old and most of the parts are still functioning well. The aircon unit is used everyday, for about 3-4 hours a day when I go to field work and i never had aircon trouble since i got the car almost 2 years ago. I also have not replaced several parts but i do know that a number of them needs to be replaced to avoid higher repair costs. Getting a Honda is really a good investment since majority of its parts really lasts for years. A bit expensive but it is really worth it.

Here are the parts I replaced for the past 2 years:
1. radiator fan
2. radiator cap
3. radiator fan sensor switch
4. tail light bulbs
5. passenger side headlight bulb
6. 4 tires
7. rear bushings
8. battery
9. fuse
10. air filter
11. fuel filter
12. door handles
13. wipers
14. spark plugs

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Promotion at Work

Last Thursday my boss asked to speak with me outside the office. It was the second time we stepped out of the office this month to discuss details about our company's plans for this year. He then handed out a two-page document after saying that he has decided to promote me as a sales supervisor of his company. I was really excited about the promotion as i was reading my new job description and responsibilities. He added that our two office-based sales staff will be directly under me plus another new hired field sales staff. It was really a big step forward since i started more than two years ago as the only sales staff for HRI Marketing.

Last Saturday, our company had our first planning and training seminar and my promotion was officially announced to all our staff. It was overwhelming since everybody clapped their hands and said congratulations to me. My promotion, the company's restructuring, our planning and training and our office' transfer are changes made by my boss this year which was in line to his plans to expand and move things forward for his company this year. He announced his plans and targets for this year and also made a promise that if we hit the target at the end of 2010, he will provide additional benefits and probably a salary increase to staff who performed well.

Salary-wise, it is an improvement, although not a big leap from my present salary, still i am very thankful since every peso counts most especially when my wife will give birth to our second child this April. I really thank God for all the blessings and opportunity He gave to us this year and we hope that this year will be great for us. I would also like to thank my boss for giving me the trust and confidence to do my job well and to lead my co-employees to achieve our company's targets this year.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

I just read today the news about the canceled fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. This is a big blow not just for the boxing world but to all boxing fans and all other businesses surrounding the mega fight. People always say that this bout could be the biggest earning so far, an estimated $30-40 million for each fighter but unfortunately it was too good to be true.

What made the fight a no-go?

First, Team Mayweather demanded an Olympic style of testing athletes for PED or performance enhancing drugs which athletes use to have an edge during competition. This Olympic style of testing is random blood and urine test, any day and any hour before and after the scheduled fight. According to Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, it is so random, they can get blood test during nights or even hours before the actual fight.

Second, Team Pacquiao refused to undergo Olympic style random testing because Pacquiao has never tested positive in all his fights and believed regulated testing by Nevada boxing associations were sufficient to prove that he is not using PEDs. Furthermore, Team Pacquiao believe that the Mayweather group is asking too much and are way over their heads to dictate such a condition of blood testing before a boxing fight. Olympic style testing was never done before for a boxing fight.

Now, different opinions are beginning to surface on which fighter did not really want to go on with the fight. For Mayweather fans, of course it would be Pacquiao. A good example is a regular writer of Yahoo sports who actually made a statement asking why wouldn't Pacquiao agree with the Olympic style tests, mentioning Pacquiao hates needles and pointing out that he has tattoos all over his body. It is unfair to actually question Pacquiao since having tattoos is totally different from giving blood for test within the same day of the fight. Does it have physical effects? Majority says no, but who are we to actually judge a boxer before one of the biggest fights of his career? Truly no one needs any distraction before a fight of this magnitude. How about Pacquiao fans? Obviously the common reason for the fight to be canceled is Mayweather really doesn't want to fight the smaller Pacquiao. He has avoided big name fighters such as Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams or even Antonio Margarito. He asked for an Olympic style of testing just for Pacquiao but not for Marquez, Dela Hoya or Hatton. How could he doubt that Pacquiao is using PEDs? He actually went through the same thing. He started to collect his championship belts at 130lbs, then 135, 140 and 145. Pacquiao went the same road. Even Oscar Dela Hoya. All of them started on a lighter weight.

Anyway, a lot of boxing fans are really disappointed to what happened to the much anticipated boxing fight of the year or possibly for the decade. Who wants Pacquiao fighting Yuri Foreman or Mayweather fighting Malignaggi? Foreman may have a bigger future but Malignaggi? This guy was actually beaten bad by Ricky Hatton who was destroyed by both Pacquiao and Mayweather. Who will watch these fights? No wonder people are turning to UFC and MMA. These guys really fight, no cowards, no conditions. They fight for themselves and their fans. Nobody cares about the money except their promoters. Mayweather should think again and again before walking away from this fight. He will be known as one of the biggest cowards who stepped on a boxing ring. He will not be remembered by his big fights with Dela Hoya, Hatton and Marquez but as a boxer who ran away from his biggest rival. Now everybody thinks that even he himself believes that it is actually Manny Pacquiao who will give him his first loss and give him a beating he will never forget.

Back to Badminton Days

I started playing badminton seriously when I took it up as a P.E. subject when I was in college. I was so into it that I always come in early and stay even after our class hours. I practice with my regular partner and my professor, who noticed our interest, regularly plays with us to enhance our skills. After college, when I was employed at Haribon Foundation, when the annual NGO sportsfest included badminton as a one of the activities, I got serious, practiced hard with my partner and eventually became the 1st place among 5 different organizations.

Even during holidays and vacations, my friends and I would line up for more than an hour at a local indoor badminton court just to play and enjoy the game. After 4 years at Haribon, when I was employed at PBSP, another NGO, I also joined groups who regularly play badminton after office hours. I even joined a tournament with a close friend, but unfortunately we lack practice so we were not able to land a decent finish.

When my knees started to hurt and playing time was shortened because of limited time, i decided to retire my racket and just concentrate on my work and my family. Honestly, I miss the fun and the excitement. When the year started, my friend mentioned that she and her husband needed to go to the gym, lose some weight and start exercising. Suddenly I remembered she mentioned she wanted to play badminton before but we never got a chance to play together. Well, i guess, this maybe the time. I mentioned to her that we can play, even just once or twice a week just for the exercise. She agreed so i started to look for a court to play and sent a message through text to a few friends who I knew were playing before. To my surprise, my friends were also willing to play again for fun.

Hopefully, this activity will help me be active again and have a regular exercise program. Badminton is not difficult to learn and is a relatively an affordable sport. You just need a good racket, dependable shoes and about 3-5 friends to play with. Badminton also helps relieve stress and fatigue and forces you to drink lots of liquid to remove toxins inside your body. I surely hope I will be consistent this year, and maybe restart my days of running and swimming too.