Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Here is a recipe I like to share of a yummy soup that I created. This recipe is flexible and you can use chicken, pork or beef. I do not find enjoyment in cooking like some people but I am not a bad cook though.
1. ginger the size of a male thumb or more if you like more ginger taste to the soup.
2. bokchoy (one stalk) you can use cabbage or chinese brocolli
3. one piece of papaya (green/unripe)
4. half teaspoon of ground cumin
5. half teaspoon of dill weed
6. half teaspoon of sea salt NaCl
7. half teaspoon of Iodide salt
8. 3-4 cubes of chicken, beef or pork bouillons or its equal about of powder.
9. 1.5-2 pounds of chicken, beef or pork
10. half teaspoon Mrs. Dash
11. 3 stems of carrots
1. Boil the meat of choice in a big pot. Make sure the water covers all the meat. Watch for foam to form as the meat boils. That is the blood that curdles. You must scope it out with a big ladle. This process will have to be repeated as long as foam is forming.
2. Slice ginger to layers or cubes. You may peel it or not. The ginger just serves to remove the foul odor and taste that meat sometimes has. Add the ginger to the soup mix as soon as no more foam is forming.
3. Add the chicken, beef or pork bouillon to the soup. Remember that the bouillon must match the meat of choice.
4. Add the cumin, dill, salts and Mrs Dash. Flavor to taste. The amount of the spices can vary to your taste.
5. Peel the papaya, slice open and discard the seed. Then slice it to bite size cubes. The bigger the slices, the longer the papaya will need to be cooked to soften.
6. Peel the carrots and slice to small pieces.
7. When you are satisfied that the meat is at least half to 3/4 cooked to its tender state. This can take 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the meat. Add the papaya and carrot. Let is simmer for 5-10 minutes just to allow the carrots and papaya to soften.
8. Slice the bokchoy to size of your choice. Add the stalk first because they require longer time to soften. Let it simmer for 3 minutes then add the leafy portion. As soon as you added the leafy part, you may turn off the fire. The remainder heat will be enough to cook the leafy bokchoy. That way the greens are not overcooked.
This recipe serves 4-6 people. It should have some sweetness to it coming from the papaya, carrot and cumin. The dill and ginger will give it a distinct taste. It's yummy and good to have on a cold night.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Zach playing with the magnadoodle Tito Bing gave him.
Greg in his full princely glory. Isn't he a cutie.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
(pic from wikipedia)
"The hit cable series Sex and the City catwalks its way to the big screen in this feature-film continuation that fans all over have been clamoring for. Sarah Jessica Parker returns once again as Carrie Bradshaw, the style maven journalist whose romantic exploits were the key focus of the show. Also reprising their roles are Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, with the series' executive producer Michael Patrick King taking on writing and directing duties. Dreamgirls' Jennifer Hudson co-stars as Parker's assistant"
(pic from wikipedia)
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Wikipedia defines LANGUAGE a system of visual, auditory, or tactile symbols of communication and the rules used to manipulate them. And it defines DIALECT a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class.
Are Tagalog and Hiligaynon a separate language or just a dialect of one another? Certainly there are enough differences between the two that an illiterate tagalog speaker and an illiterate hiligaynon speaker would find talking to each other very confusing. For example, in tagalog shark is "pating" but in hiligaynon, "pating" is pigeon. Another example, in tagalog penis is "titi" but in hiligaynon, "titi" is breast/mammary glands. But there are also many similarities between the two. For example, both would refer to head as "ulo", you as "ikaw, eyes as "mata" and belly as "tiyan". Some words between the two are cognates. For example, hand is "kamay" in tagalog and "kamot" in hiligaynon. Another example, clothes is "baru" in tagalog and "bayo" in hiligaynon. And another, house in tagalog is "bahay" and "balay" in hiligaynon. See the similarities? This brings me back to my original question. Are they dialects or languages?
Between Mandarin and Hokkien, the spoken words may sound different but the written characters are the same. Wikipedia actually refer to these two as belonging to a chinese language family. Example would be the word man. In mandarin it is pronounced as "ren" and hokkien it is pronounced as "lang". Another is the word big. In mandarin it is pronounced as "tah" and in hokkien it is "tua". Then again, an illiterate mandarin speaker and illiterate hokkien speaker would not understand each other. Dialect? Language?
Then there is Swedish and Norwegian. Both are classified as languages yet from what I was told, they are very similar to each other that one does not have to formally learn the other language to understand each other. Why are they not dialect of each other?
I encountered this article that discusses when it is a language and when it is a dialect. One point it is saying is that developed nations promote their language as language while less developed nations delegate their languages a dialects. Sometimes the line between it being a language and a dialect is just very blurred. Very interesting, is it not?
I am proud that I can speak so many languages and from now on, I will proudly refer to them as languages. Enough of this dialect thing. Henceforth, I speak 7 languages. haha
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
This is the vault event that resulted to the unfortunate right ACL injury. Let us all cross our finger that he may recover well enough for the Beijing Olympic.
Monday, February 11, 2008
This was the animated series from Japan (dubbed in english) that I grew up watching as a little boy in the Philippines. I miss this show. The story line revolves around the 5 team members piloting the Voltes robot to defend Earth from the Bozanian invaders. The main theme of the story is about defeating evil through unity. The Marcos regime back then feared that this mentality of uniting to defeat evil will be too ingrained in the impressionable minds of the kids that they canceled the show. They were afraid of the Filipino people uniting to defeat their corrupt government.
There are bad drivers and there are good drivers. Some good drivers becomes bad drivers if they are distracted by smoking cigarette or mobile phone use. I am so glad that Chicago passed an ordinance to ban mobile phone use unless it has a hands-free mechanism. Even with hands-free, I still get distracted when I drive and talk in the phone at the same time. But do you think it stopped people from using their phone with one hand and driving? I just hope the cops will enforce it more vigilantly.
Just earlier while driving home, I saw this chick driving so slow because she was chatting on her hand-held phone. And another chick had a delayed response to a light turning green because she was smoking. I hope she freezes her ass off with that window cracked open! And worse, my ex-friend driving with a ciggy and the wheel on one hand and a mobile on another! I was his passenger too! Insufferable!
(smoking pic from www.bodytology.com and cell phone pic from www.Ill.org)
The latest ban on smoking in all public places in Chicago is viewed by many as a good thing. After all, the medical evidence against smoking is overwhelming that one can not ignore it. Still there are people who chooses to smoke. Since I am all about choice, I think it is the american way to give smoker the choice to smoke without harming others. There should be public places (bar, restaurants, etc) that are classified as smoking places so smokers can go there. Those who do not mind the smoke or smokers can seek employment in those places. If non-smokers chooses to go to smoking places, they should put up with the smoke. Non-smokers may argue that smokers have a choice to step outside to smoke. Not very practical during harsh weather conditions though. But if there were smoking places, non-smokers will have that same choice to step outside or avoid that place entirely. That is the fair thing to do rather than ban smoking in all public places and hamper smoker's rights to smoke. That way both smokers and non-smokers are satisfied.
True, the Bible condemned homosexuality (e.g., Leviticus 18:22). However, there is debate about the meaning of translations from Hebrew, particularly regarding what exactly was being forbidden. In addition, one needs to consider the fact that the Bible also condemns a number of other sexual practices - intercourse during menstruation, celibacy, nudity, masturbation, birth control, naming sexual organs - that are generally accepted today. Furthermore, the Bible accepts sexual practices - polygamy, sex with slaves, marriage of girls at 11-13 years old, prostitution, marriage of a woman to one of her husband's sons or brothers after her husband's death - that most of us find heinous today. And it's important to note that the Bible also condemned other acts - eating meat with blood in it (Leviticus 19:26), sowing your field with two kinds of seed, putting on a garment made of two different materials (Leviticus 19:19), eating shellfishes (Leviticus 11:19-12 and Deutoronomy 14:9-10), etc., etc. Hardly anybody observes these laws anymore.
Then there's the story of Sodom, which is always used as the basis for anti-gay sentiments. One problem with an interpretation focused on homosexuality is this: according to Ezekiel 16:49, Sodom's sins were not "sodomy" but "pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness...in her and in her daughters." In addition, the people of Sodom are condemned because they did not "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Finally, the people of Sodom were "haughty." Regarding the "abomination" the people of Sodom committed, Biblical scholars are divided on the meaning. It could have been same-sex intercourse, of course, but it also could have been any number of "abominations" mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.
There is also considerable debate among biblical scholars as to the exact nature of the relationship of Ruth and Naomi and that of Jonathan and David.
Jesus, on the otherhand, said absolutely nothing about homosexuality, although it is significant that he deemphasized and even rejected the "purity system" emphasized by the Pharisees.
The point is, what God said is simply not that simple. Given the various translations that have been passed down from the original Scriptures, nobody can be 100% sure what is really the word of God.
I have always been a pragmatic person. And on top of that I am environment conscious. I recycle papers/cans/bottles, I use reusables instead of disposables, I try my best to save energy by turning appliance/lights off when not needed. Considering that I am not as likely to procreate, I sometimes wonder why I bother to save mother earth. Then I remember my little godsons who I want to have a clean earth to live in. Having said all that, one thing that I truly detest seeing in the city is a Hummer. Critics might say I am just sour grapes cause I can't afford it. Trust me, I can if I want to. For city driving where you can't really do off roading, where the streets are plowed well enough in winter, where the public parking spaces are limited, where some side streets could bearly fit two regular cars side by side, driving a Hummer does not really serve any good purpose except to flaunt the wealth of the owner. In Europe gas are very expensive so the trend is for smaller efficient cars. Here in the US, we have a bigger is better mentality sometimes. These huge gas guzzlers that was popular in the 80's,90's and early 2000 has fueled our dependency to fossil fuel. This dependency has influenced our government's foreign/middle east policies and decisions. Do I need to connect the dots to the war on Iraq? So every time I see a Hummer in the city, I give them a dirty look. I know it probably does not do anything but I somehow hope the owner can realize the folly of their extravagance. SAY NO TO THE HUMMER!!!
(pic from wikipedia)
1. The great wall and other ancient points of interest are inundated by tourist, mostly asians but I see some caucasians also. Hardly any black folks. I would like to add that these ancient points of interest are awesome. I was animated to an equal pitch by the praises of people who have been there before.
2. The conditions of their public toilets are not really up to par with american standards. And some of these toilets are on tourist attractions. They need to be maintained better for the olympics or they will hear a lot of criticisms.
3. The flight attendants are mostly young pretty females. This is true in most asian airlines I have flown with. I guess the "older" one who were removed from the post don't sue unlike here in America.
4. They do not serve free water in restaurants. You have to pay for bottled water but tea is free.
5. You can hear and see a lot of spitting in public. I guess their standard of what is acceptable public behaviour is different.
6. Prices of "stuff" are relatively cheaper for those with US dollars, Euro or Pounds as they are stronger currencies compared to the chinese RMB. It is about 7.3 RMB to a dollar.
7. Most people don't know the concept of lining up in bathroom or other situations. It's rather rude for american standards. This is true in the Philippines too. I forgot how it was.
8. You see a few people wearing surgical mask in public. It is rather odd. Is the level of protection from its use really that significant??? I personally doubt it.
9. Chinese younger ladies like to wear boots. And not the ugly snow or rain boots but the fashionable ones with 4 inches heels and pointy toes.
10. Chinese Muslims do exist... I saw them. It was a sight I did not expect from china.
11. All the 4 and 5 star hotels we stayed in have toothbrush and toothpaste available on top of the usual shampoo and soap.
12. I saw very little PDA (public display of affection) from the chinese.
13. A lot of the english signs and posted regulations have a lot of grammatical and spelling errors. Not so much in Shanghai. It's funny reading them.
14. English is NOT at all widely spoken or understood. And these are people who work in the hospitality industry too. Even our supposedly english speaking tour guide have trouble understanding us in english, let alone a hotel front desk person. Shanghai is somewhat an exception cause it is a very modern city and is more infiltrated by western businesses.
15. A lot of men smoke and barely any women did. And smoking is still allowed indoors in a lot of establishment (hotels, restaurants, etc).